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5 Channels = 5 Ways to Help You Grow

Want to grow your business? Here are five marketing ideas to build your business.

1. Mail it! Not only is the power of direct mail stronger than ever, but it gets around many of the downsides of electronic marketing. It doesn't require opt-in. It doesn't get caught by spam filters. It doesn't get automatically directed into folders with other marketing emails where it will never be seen.

2. Offer a webinar. Be the expert in your subject area by offering webinars. Be the one your customers trust. If you don't feel qualified, don't worry. As long as you know more about the subject than your attendees, you have something to offer. Even a 30-second webinar will do the trick.

3. Write a letter. How many people take the time to write letters anymore? Talk to your customers as you would to a friend. No sales talk! Brag about recent success stories. Talk about your company's community and charitable involvement. Offer ideas that are relevant to them. You don't see this often, and it's one reason you should do it.

4. Let the sidewalk do the talking. It's easy to focus on broadening your reach through direct mail and email and forget about the power of reaching people right in front of you. If you have a storefront, use sidewalk displays, window clings, banners, and other forms of advertising to reach the people walking right by your door.

5. Host an event. Like webinars, in-house events set you up as a thought leader. Offer an educational seminar. Give a behind-the-scenes tour. Bring in an expert speaker. Attendees will remember you, and if they like you, so much the better. People want to do business with people they like.

These are five different channels, each offering something unique to help you build your business. The more ways you can interact with your target audience, the more engaged your customers will be. So pick a channel and use it - or better yet, use them all.

Is Social Media Print’s New Best Friend?

While print and social media may compete for your marketing dollars, they don’t have to compete for your customers. In fact, using them together can make your marketing more effective. Let’s look at five ways print and social media can work together.

1. Print drives traffic to social media.

How do you drive traffic to your social media sites? Often, it’s with print. Whether it is through direct mail, store signage, or company invoices, print is often your customer’s first exposure to your social media presence.

2. More channels help you reach more people.

Even in today’s tech-driven world, not everyone uses social media or uses it on a regular basis. Use print to ensure that you are reaching the largest swath of your audience as possible. As the old adage goes, “Don’t put all of your eggs in one basket.”

3. Say it again . . . and again.

Consistently, studies show that reinforcing your message through multiple channels increases brand awareness, heightens engagement, and boosts response rates. The combination of print and social media, along with other traditional and digital media, is more effective than any single channel alone.

4. Boost credibility.

Survey after survey shows that consumers still trust print more than they trust online media. A survey conducted by Ball State University’s Center for Media Design in coordination with ExactTarget found that even Millennials are more likely to be influenced to make purchase decisions based on communications they receive by email and direct mail rather than through social media advertising.

5. Print has staying power.

Your message on social media might stay for a few hours, then gets buried under the avalanche of other messaging. Print has staying power. Your direct mail piece might live on someone’s desk or bulletin board for weeks or months.

Using print and social media isn’t an “either or” proposition. Understanding when and where to use each channel is the key to getting the best results.

Can “I’m Sorry” Win More Business?

Everyone messes up once in awhile. Even the best, most responsible marketers get it wrong on occasion. When that happens, you have an excellent opportunity to boost sales and cement customer relationships. How? With a simple, personalized letter of apology.

Apologies are powerful. One Forbes contributor described how one company used a direct mail letter to apologize to hundreds of thousands of customers so well, so sincerely, that it ended up selling more merchandise than it would have otherwise. Talk about turning a negative into a positive!

Why do apology letters work?

1. They are relatable. We are all human. We all make mistakes. By apologizing, you humanize your company and create empathy. When done well, addressing the person by name and including personal, relevant details to them, a sincere apology letter can improve the customer relationship.

2. They give you credibility. Nobody likes to apologize. When a company apologizes, it gets a customer's attention. This can give you tremendous credibility that builds trust.

2. It gives you an opportunity to make right. Everybody likes when a wrong is made right. Once you have a customer's attention, an apology letter can create positive feelings about your company and further cement customer loyalty.

It is not necessary to send formal apologies for every misstep, but when it merits, don't be afraid to do so. Keep it simple. Be sincere. Do it well, and you might find that instead of losing customers, you gain more loyal customers instead.

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