Promote Your Business with Press Releases

One way to generate more buzz for your business is through press releases. Many people overlook these genius marketing tools that can really make a great impact for any business or entrepreneur. The more information about yourself and your services that are available, the more potential clients you will be able to attract to your business. With the use of the internet, a press release is even more valuable because you can send out a single press release to millions of people in just a few seconds. Since press releases have been pushed aside by other marketing techniques such as text messaging and online applications and ads, let’s look at some of the benefits of incorporating press releases into your business now:

  • Press releases are no longer limited to traditional media resources such as newspapers. You can send a press release to online distribution sites which will be able to maximize your marketing reach whether it is to the local community, to the industry or to other target audiences. Of course, you can maintain your submission of press releases to the traditional sources to cover your bases.
  • Press releases are a more cost effective way to market your business. Hiring marketing companies to create complicated web applications or campaigns can burn a major hole through your business account while a press release is more informative and much less expensive. With a little practice, you can even write out and design your own personal press releases. If you do not have the time, you can also hire a press release writer who can help in the distribution of the press release to traditional and online media sources.
  • Press releases can also be SEO enhanced when you distribute them online. If you are familiar with SEO keywords then you can incorporate them into a well written and formatted press release. You can even use tools online which will help you to target the precise keywords that you need for an effective SEO enhanced press release. With an SEO enhanced press release, your business will appear higher in the search engine rankings.
  • Potential customers want to know that you are operating a legitimate business. Press releases can offer you that type of credibility. Your business’s brand and name will be instantly exposed with a press release which will create name recognition in the community or industry. When people think of your line of business, they will immediately think of your business because of the excellent exposure that a press release has to offer.
  • Adding a news section to your website will give your website a place to put all of your updated news events for interested parties to view. If they are SEO enhanced and found on your website, the press release will instantly link to your main page creating even more exposure.

People forget about just how important a press release can be. Press releases must be well written and formatted in order to be effective. There are many tutorials that you can use which will help to increase your knowledge about writing press releases. You must also be willing to write press releases on a regular basis. Writing frequent press releases is a good way to keep your customers and potential clients engaged and up to date in what is happening in your business. Anything that happens in your business, whether it is a super spring cleaning sale or a fundraiser that your company is participating in, all of this is newsworthy. Let your clients know that you are not just interested in making a profit but also interested in informing the public through conference speakers and volunteering for charities.

If you are skeptical about writing your own press release, you might want to heavily consider hiring a press release writer who can also help you to distribute your posts. You can find freelancers who write excellent press releases at a low rate. Above all, you should find a press release writer who is able to engage the target audience, create interest in your company and answer how the information stated in the press release will benefit your target audience. If all of these elements are fulfilled, then you have a press release that is ready to be sent out to the public.

Overtime, you will be able to see how press releases effect your business. Press releases should always be informative and positive. A press release is a great way to generate a positive image for your business and to do damage control if needed. Press releases are an excellent way to promote your business at an all time low cost.

Twitter Empowering Your Small Business

Twitter can be much more than a medium for telling your friends the color of the shirt you are wearing today or the music you are listening too. If leveraged correctly, Twitter can be a very powerful tool in the arsenal of the small business entrepreneur.

The small business entrepreneur is always under pressure to be nimble, exercise creativity and posses the ability relate and effectively compete in a market where there are bigger players with deeper marketing pockets.

Within the least half decade social media like Twitter is leveling the playing field and providing a sort of parity that rewards those that are able to connect, respond and personally engage with the market they serve.Twitter is rapidly becoming a powerful social media tool that can be an effective weapon for the small business owner if wielded correctly.

Set Clear Goals

Before jumping head first into social media it is vital to set clear and attainable marketing goals and checkpoints. One should be considering if the goal at the end of the day to take market share from competitors, introduce or promote a brand, win hearts and wallets via superior customer service and engagement, or maybe a mixture of all three? By having an intimate understanding of your business objectives for Twitter it becomes easier to wield it correctly and accurately measure it effects.

So know that you have an idea on your deliverable, how can you most effectively use twitter?

Building Credibility

On the Internet your credibility is on the line whenever your link comes up in a Google or Bing search. To instill confidence with the consumer it is essential that your their first impression is a stellar impression. By using Twitter effectively you can help build up that credibility around your brand. How so?

Twitter enables you to be engaging with future clients and build possible sells lead. If a client has a question about your product a quick and informative response helps to build that direct relationship. This type of genuine interaction can create a positive image for your business.

In addition to direct engagement, sharing your business acumen with the world in one-hundred forty characters or less can help generate trust, build brand recognition as well as planting the framework for future business. An example could be an owner of automotive repair garage posting a tweet linking to an article on how to quickly gauge tire pressure, or an article on ten things you should check before taking your next trip. These type of informative tweets can help route interested visitors to your site, provide them with usefully information while point generating good vibes for your business.

Twitter also is a good medium to broadcast positive press by twittering articles that link or feature your site. Even if your followers do not click on the link the third-party references helps to build your brand.

Twitter, a Low Cost Solution

Having a great business model is useless if no one knows that your business exist. Advertising can take a large part of a small business budget. After all it cost money to raise awareness and get your product and brand noticed to the masses.

Twitter can help those advertising dollars go farther by complimenting your current adverting campaign. If the business is offering a promotional discount in the local paper take advantage of the synergies and post the special on twitter. If you are providing a meaningful sale opportunity users will sign up with your twitter feed to ensure that they are the first to know and take advantage of such offers in the future.

For example Fred’s Homemade Sandwich Shop could be having a dollar special on the menu to the first one hundred orders in order to promote their new Chicken Sub. If I’m the type of guy that likes to eat good on a budget I would be waiting for a tweet to go out on the special and then forwarded it to all my friends. This type of engagement can really be profitable for both the consumer and the business owner.

Twitter Maintains Relationship

As a small business owner we want to cultivate repeat customers. Twitter helps you stay connected with your loyal fan base. These are the repeat customers that help maintain your revenue stream and add to your overall bottom line . Once some one befriends you on twitter you have a pipeline too them that can be targeted as needed. They may sign up for your dollar-sandwich specials but you will be able to leverage that relationship to cross sell other things that may be of interest. As with any advertising campaign it is important to maintain the proper balance so that your leads do not feel that they are being spammed or targeted with useless electronic information.

Keep Track of the Competition

Just as Twitter can help to get your business out in the forefront it can also be a useful way to monitor your competitive environment and how your competitors are handling their engagement. In near real-time you can watch the ebbs and flows and catch business market trends. My having an understanding of your market you can evaluate what type of promotions seems to work for you business and what falls flat.

As with many types of social media Twitter can be a good way for you to promote and grow your business. In addition it can be a good way to track the ins and out of your business environment. As with any advertising or brand building campaign it is important to have an idea of what you aim to get out of the medium and ensure that you have checkpoints along the way to verify if you strategy is economically viable and on track.

The Autoresponder Versus the Newsletter in Internet Marketing

One of the most profitable things that a business, entrepreneur or internet marketer can do is to build a targeted list of email subscribers. This is no secret and it is nothing new. The only thing that has changed in the last ten years is the medium through which contact is made. In the old days, standard mail was used. Mailing lists were built by placing ads in newspapers and magazines in conjunction with the broadcasting of TV commercials as well as radio ads soliciting individuals to sign up for an occasional mailer which would generally contain targeted information and unique product offerings. For the most part, that has not changed. These days, however, instead of mailing in or calling in ones opt-in information, they simply fill out an instant opt-in form that is part of a PHP script which then sends a confirmation email to the submitted email address to verify deliverability. After successful confirmation, the email address is then added to the e-mailer list.

It is only after successful confirmation that the real work begins. Once a subscriber is part of a mailing list, value must be provided so as to keep that person on the mailing list. Additionally, the rate and frequency at which contact is made must be carefully and thoughtfully throttled so as to avoid irritating or overloading the subscriber.

There are two methods of follow up that can be used to maintain contact with subscribers depending on what type of subscriber they are. Some subscribers are laymen with respect to the subject being covered and others are journeymen with respect to the subject being covered.

If an individual is a layman, then usually, the best type of mailer to use is a sales funnel more commonly know as an autoresponder series. An autoresponder series is a preset series of emails released to an opt-in email address according to a preset schedule after confirmation.

The advantage to using a sales funnel or autoresponder series is that the information and products sent to the sign up are done so in a way that brings their understanding and experience level up gradually with respect to the subject being covered. This can be much more effective than signing them up for a newsletter that may contain information or offerings that are beyond their experience level or ability to understand. For example, if someone signs up for an internet marketing basics e-course, an autoresponder series could gradually introduce them to the basics of internet marketing. Items like obtaining hosting, launching a blog, and building traffic could be covered in a way where each lesson builds on the ones before it thus allowing them to build their understanding of the subject. At this point in the learning process, the individual would hardly gain the benefit of a newsletter that covered advanced SEO tactics used by internet marketers.

If an individual has a greater experience level than that of a layman, then a newsletter may be a better option for that person. Odds are that their experience level exceeds that of the information contained in the sales funnel. For this reason, receiving the emails in the autoresponder series would be considered a waste of time by them.

The nice thing about newsletters is that you can add any and all information and tactics that are considered cutting-edge as well as product offerings for individuals with an advanced understanding.

So, which should be offered, a sales funnel/autoresponder series or a newsletter? The answer is simple. Offer both. Both laymen and journeymen exist, so offer both a autoresponder series and a newsletter. These opt-ins can be part of the same list or two separate ones.

Many internet marketers put their opt-ins on a newsletter list with that co-broadcasts a sales funnel at the same time. The problem with this is that the person who signed up receives the newsletter and the autoresponder series at the same time. This can be confusing or overwhelming to laymen and annoying to journeymen.

The other option is to have two separate lists. Journeymen can sign up for the newsletter and begin receiving the advanced information and product offerings immediately whereas the laymen can sign up for the autoresponder series and bring their knowledge base and experience level up to speed slowly. Once they have completed the autoresponder series, the last email would contain an invitation for them to sign up for the newsletter list by means of which a lasting professional relationship can be formed. Individuals who take this route tend to be more loyal and profitable to the publisher. Additionally, they are not overwhelmed by information and their inbox is not overrun by emails which can irritate them to the point of unsubscribing.

The goal is to teach everyone the basics first and once they have learned the basics, slowly feed them advanced information and products for the long term. Having two separate lists allows an internet marketer to accomplish this with no irritating overlap between the autoresponder series and newsletter. Laymen sign up for the autoresponder series first, then upon completion are invited to sign up for the newsletter. Journeymen skip the autoresponder series and go directly to the newsletter.

Marketing Your Small Business on a Shoestring Budget

Marketing Your Small Business on a Shoestring Budget

New business comes into existence in one of two ways, either with sufficient startup capital or on a shoestring budget. This article is aimed at the low-budget startup business that is typically formed by a skilled entrepreneur going into business to offer freelance services of one sort or another.

There are many ways to market a new business and most of them are expensive. Advertising can take on many forms and is often hard to evaluate for effectiveness. Ask any ad sales executive what the best approach is and they will explain it is the current ad product they are selling, but that is not always best for every business.

Low Overhead

Keeping expenses low will often be the single decision that allows a business to succeed during the critical startup years. Spending money on advertising will seem to be a great way to improve income to those who are anxiously awaiting a steady stream of clients, but the fact remains that it is still an expense.

By using low cost marketing techniques that are available to nearly any business in almost every industry, new business owners can easily multiply their chances of staying in business long enough to show a profit. These techniques require time and effort to work, but the payout is long term and worth the investment.

The Key to Marketing

The real key to a successful marketing campaign is not the number of people who happen to see or hear the ads, it is the number of people that become new customers. By focusing on likely clients and targeting specific marketing materials to them, costs can be reduced to pennies on the dollar compared to typical advertising campaigns, and results can be amazing.

Good New Business

By utilizing word of mouth referral advertising, satisfied customers tell their friends and neighbors about how much they liked a particular service or a low price, or that they trust a business to do right by them. These referrals are a natural part of working an honest business model where the customer gets treated fairly and the services are done professionally.

New customers that are referred by people they trust will not often shop around or pay any attention to the ads they see or hear. They are already convinced that the new business is where they want to go, and they will keep coming back until something happens to spoil the relationship. These are very valuable customers that often remain loyal for long periods.

Bad New Business

If a potential customer sees an ad on TV, or hears an ad on the radio, or reads an ad in the newspaper, they will not have much loyalty to the business if they do become a customer. They will still be watching TV, listening to the radio, and reading the newspaper, looking for the next ad for their next purchase.

These clients are not sold on the company based upon the ads, but are willing to give the company a try based upon the prices or services advertised. They are skeptical clients and will be hard to satisfy, and they often are bargain hunters who will not be long term repeat customers without long term repeat advertising to draw them in.

Back to the Basics

The basics in business are professional service, reasonable prices, and a clear customer satisfaction program that always strives to make every client as satisfied as possible, even if it takes losing a little money on one client from time to time. This is often referred to as “The customer is always right.”

Handing out business cards and printed flyers to every customer is a great way to let them know what other services and products a business offers. Asking for referrals or reminding customers that a business is new and in need of more clients is also a good way to drum up additional business.

It is also important to carry business cards in places that are not associated with business, such as when grocery shopping or running errands. Hand them out to anyone who will take one, explaining that the business is new and accepting customers. Become a walking sales pitch for the new business and spread the word the old fashioned way.

When advertising, stick to very low budget ads such as classified ads or website promotion. Use techniques that offer a lasting return on investment and continue to pay for themselves year after year. For example, have signs made instead of running professionally created ad campaigns.

The Long Run

In the long run the advertising that is done one on one is far better than the commercial ads typically seen in the mainstream media. The key is in building relationships, and that often starts with a handshake and a business card. No amount of advertising can replace that.

Small Businesses Fail due to Economic Downturn: Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Numbers Soar as Business Declines

Small Businesses Fail due to Economic Downturn

Commercial bankruptcy levels are rising because small business fail rates are now soaring. Robert Lawless, a professor of law at the University of Illinois, said that the most filings are performed by entrepreneurs and small-business owners. Changing consumer shopping habits as a result of the economic downturn, poorly timed business expansion and rising food and gasoline prices are thought to be the main reasons behind the plummeting demand for local goods and services.

Commercial Bankruptcy Soars as Small Businesses Fail

During the first 5 months of 2014, there was a 52% rise in the number of small businesses filing for commercial bankruptcy. According to the Automated Access to Court Electronic Records (ACER), there were 36,103 filings compared to 23,829 this time last year. A total of 350 small businesses fail each day. the majority of companies are filing for chapter 11 bankruptcy so that debts can be restructured.

Chapter 7 or Chapter 11 Bankruptcy?

When small businesses fail, they often file for bankruptcy under chapter 7. This involves permanently shutting down the business and writing off all commercial debts. However, chapter 11 bankruptcy allows an entrepreneur to restructure any outstanding debt and offer a reduced payment to creditors. It works in a similar way to chapter 13 (which is the equivalent for individuals), but is far more involved than its commercial equivalent.

Small Business Loans Hard to Find

Small business fail rates are increasing at the very time that new business start-ups are declining. Financial institutions are being blamed for this problem for failing to offer small business loans. The National Federation of Independent Business trend report stated that 16% of business owners were finding it harder to get a business loan. This is the highest figure since the 1980-82 recession.

A reduced access to business loans, combined with lower credit card limits, have meant that chapter 7 or chapter 11 bankruptcy are their only option. The tightening of commercial bankruptcy laws has meant that small businesses now have far less time to restructure their debts. Financial difficulties needn’t mean the end for a business, but it is necessary to act quickly.

Small Business Success Depends on a Strong Network

Small Business Success Depends on a Strong Network

Some small business owners have to be able to go five years without paying themselves a salary. During this time, they might moonlight as bartenders, grocery clerks, or they may hold a 9-5 job while building their business from 5-9.

Among the ways to build a small business from the ground up, one crucial area in making money is having a network in place. This network will include, but not be limited to, friends, family, and colleagues. Regardless of how big one’s network is, and how influential the person within is, there are still other important factors, such as letting people know about the business.

A Small Business Needs Advertising

Some small business owners never make it past selling their wares to those close to them. This happens (or doesn’t happen) because they never make it happen.

 It costs almost nothing for a person to post fliers on telephone poles or to hand out business cards. The former can work very well for people who do handyman type work, such as lawn care, painting, and plumbing. And the latter is a must for anyone in business. After all, with so many people selling the same goods and services, customers are not going to break their necks to call one person over the other if they have one phone number handy while the other is unavailable.

The point is that if no one knows you are in business, then no one can buy from you. For those who do know you’re in business, they won’t refer you if you do not prove to be reliable, and reliability can be seen in consistently well done work, and in one’s ability to make contact.

These small things make the difference between a professional and an amateur.

Expanding a Network for Business Success

When owning a business it is important to expand your network. This can be done through more traditional advertising or by getting involved in the local community.

Getting involved can be as easy as a restaurant owner sponsoring little league teams and giving the kids coupons. This will get new customers in the door while also compelling old customers to come in more often, especially when their kids’ pictures are on the wall.

For those who want to be more involved, joining organizations like the Lions and Rotary Clubs are great ways to meet new people as is getting involved with charities, such as Habitat for Humanity.

The key to business success is having something people want and need. But if only a small group knows that the business is open, everyone else will be forced to take their money elsewhere.

Creative Advertising for a Small Business: Advertise a Start-Up Business with No Money and Lots of Creativity

Creative Advertising for a Small Business

If there is little money in the bank to start and advertise a business, there is hope on the internet. The internet has many free resources and websites that will allow advertising, blogging, and local listings for small businesses. This is a good way to get started without putting out a dime.

The next resource is going local around the community. Fliers can be made up and put around in community areas and shopping centers. They can also be distributed on cars or placed on door knobs. Word of mouth is also something that can be used in the local community for a small business owner. Getting an inexpensive set of business cards and distributing them at the hair salon, next home party, or through a friend can be other local options.

Using the Product to Advertise

Really creative advertising requires a little more effort. Making the product be the business card is a unique idea. For example, if the business is one of creating and selling magnets – the actual magnet can be the business card. Another idea might be to give out free samples or “promotional items” in place of a business card provided the business information or phone number is on the product somewhere.

Creative Use of Space Advertising

Mobile billboard advertising is gaining popularity. This is yet another option for a business. With this method of advertising, the name of the business and what it does is “in motion” on local roads and highways. People in cars can see the advertising whether they want to read it or not. It catches the attention.

http://www.scrollingimagescorp.com/

Local restaurants and eateries often use their window space for advertising…colorful pizzas, sandwiches, and prices decorate the side of a small restaurant. A popular doughnut shop has painted pictures of their most up and coming menu items. This is creative advertising that not only stands out, but is inviting as well.

Coupons are another great way to advertise and bring in business. Coupons provide the customer the advantage of trying a product at a reduced price and seeing if they like it. Plus, even if it’s not clipped, it still acts as advertising. Coupons can also be passed along and shared.

Once all is said and done with creative advertising, watch the customers roll in. Then a small business owner can start paying for extensive advertising such as personal websites and huge advertisements that cover an entire page of a newspaper or magazine.

Small Business Cost Benefit Analysis on Capital Expenditures

Small Business Cost Benefit Analysis on Capital Expenditures

In every company’s history, there comes a time when they must decide upon a capital expenditure. When faced with such a decision, using a cost benefit analysis is often the surest way to minimize the incidence of failure. It’s not an easy decision to make, but when it comes to growing a business, sometimes that purchase makes all the difference.

What is a Cost Benefit Analysis?

When it comes to doing a cost benefit analysis, while it might seem like an involved process, it really just amounts to collecting the right information. When companies don’t take the time to properly review all the criteria, they can easily purchase something next to impossible to unload. For instance, if a company wanted to purchase a new machine or ERP software package, and wanted to be able to justify the purchase, it might involve the following steps.

Assess Product’s Quality

Make sure to do the appropriate research into the equipment’s reputation, or the software’s customer service support capabilities. Talk to other users, and make sure that equipment has a high resale value, and that software isn’t problematic. Ease of use is key in these situations.

 Assess Cost of Ownership

The actual purchase itself doesn’t end the process. All those spare parts, possible repairs, and consumables needed to run the equipment, are an essential aspect of the analysis. In terms of the software, does it require upgrades and if so, how much and when? Make sure to document these costs.

Determine Time to Pay

Essential to moving forward with the purchase, is an understanding of time required to pay. Does that machine the company bought allow them to increase their manufacturing productivity rate? What does that additional capacity mean in terms of gross profit? Will that ERP program eliminate time consuming operations between departments, and what is the benefit of eliminating this redundancy?

Determine Frequency of Use

What is the 5 and 10 year forecast for the product that machines makes, and is it easily converted to make other products? How long will that software package continue to be used before it needs an upgrade or needs to be replaced? In both instances, will the technology become outdated over time?

While each of these are merely summaries of how to justify the decision, it is important to make sure to address each of these steps at length. Companies must do their homework when it comes to moving forward with a capital expenditure. That decision is never to be taken lightly. In some cases, buying that piece of equipment involves an in-depth market trend analysis, and product life-cycle review, in order to make sure that the products made on that line, will be needed well into the future. In addition, ensuring the technology will be applicable 5, or even 10 years down the road, is another important consideration.

Small Business Owner Manifesto: Entrepreneurs View and Treat Employees Differently

Small Business Owner Manifesto

Small business owners and entrepreneurs are a unique group of individuals who are often so passionate about what the do or produce that it can be challenging to work for them. People who find themselves in the unique position of working with these trailblazers should leave their notions about 9-5 Corporate America at the door, because entrepreneurs work differently.

The following is a manifesto created by an entrepreneur who, on the promise of anonymity, allowed this to be reprinted to help prospective employees understand what to expect before accepting a position in her organization.

My Future is on the Line

  • I have put my heart, money, soul, and gambled my family’s future on this company. It means everything to me and I often expect it to mean as much to you as it does to me.
  • You are important to me and my business, but realize that I am the one taking 100% of the financial risk for this venture, so when it pays off, don’t think you’re entitled to 100% of the reward.
  • I give 120% every day. I expect the same from you.
  • I never say “die” and I never say “quit”. I may say, “Give me a minute to catch my breath” but then I’m back in there fighting for this company. Quitters and defeatists need not apply.
  • I expect you to not just do your best, but to do what is required.
  • This is not a job but a passion and a way of life. When you are here, this is not what you do, it’s who you are.
  • I do not expect my employees to stay in this organization forever- but I do expect that while you are here you honor your contract, are on time, prepared, enthusiastic, willing to help out in any required capacity, and that you never stop pushing to be better. You do a good job for me and I will make it my mission to get you where you want to be in life. If you leave me hanging, be assured that I will never do anything positive for you ever again- even if decades pass. I have a really long memory.

Titles

  • Everyone, regardless of title, sells, recruits and markets every single day.
  • We all work as a team. Everyone sells, markets, teaches, collates, files, cleans the office, takes out the garbage, and does what is needed, when it is needed- even me.
  • In this organization the words “That’s not my job” equal the words “I quit.”

Communication

  • I am too busy to be politically correct. I never go out of my way to offend someone and if I offend you, know that it’s not intentional and move on.
  • Communicate with me. I can not read your mind and, quite honestly, I don’t want to. I can not help you if I do not know you need help or are unhappy.
  • I only want people on my team who are happy to be where they are. If you’re not happy it will show in your work and I can’t have that. Tell me and we will work toward a solution that will make everyone happy.
  • I listen to all feedback, criticisms, and suggestions- just don’t expect me to act on everything.
  • Do not lie to me. I do not have time for it and there’s no good reason to do it.
  • I give you a lot of time off so do not ask for additional time unless there are extreme- and I mean extreme- circumstances.

Interoffice Politics

  • I can not stand in-fighting and back-stabbing and won’t tolerate it.
  • Disagreements will happen and they are healthy. Don’t take it personally and be a professional. This is America- people are allowed to disagree about things and still respect one another.
  • Do not write something down unless you plan on allowing every person on the planet to be able to read it.
  • You do not have to like me, but you do need to be a professional and be the best at your job.
  • The boss may not always be right , but she’s always the boss.

Employees who can handle the intensity and uncertainty of working for a small business or entrepreneur will develop professional skills serving as a key member of a small group that can propel them to higher levels of larger corporations later in their professional lives.

Marketing Tools for Small Business & Freelancers: Autoresponders, Websites & Blogs – Cost Effective Software Solutions

Marketing Tools for Small Business & Freelancers

There are many software tools to support small business and freelance marketing. Autoresponders, blogs and websites can be used as part of a cost effective solution to implement a marketing strategy.

Email Autoresponders and Newsletters

Writing emails to send further information to potential clients takes time. Once created then the emails must be sent out and for the best response, a follow-up sequence initiated where emails are sent over the next days or weeks to maintain contact and build marketing touches.

When a broadcast email is sent such as a newsletter to subscribers on a mailing list, then the management can also be time-consuming:

  • Email addresses change so rejections and non-delivery message must be managed
  • Some emails should sent as text format and others as html format

Creating emails including choosing the message, writing the words and selecting images, takes time and is a task that cannot be automated. However email autoresponders can manage the process once the content has been created, sending emails in response to queries automatically and also sending broadcast emails. This does save time.

Smaller businesses can use online solutions to provide the same facilities as larger organizations by selecting an appropriate email autoresponder.

Blog for Free

Small businesses and freelancers do not usually have large marketing budgets so exploiting freely available tools to reach target markets should be investigated.

A blog can be described a personal log or diary, however it is also much more than that. A blog is set up on a website and allows the owner to write entries as often as they wish. The blog can also have pages, just like any other website covering contact details, product and service descriptions, newsletter sign up pages, etc. There are many advantages to using blogs:

  • Small businesses can communicate with customers and potential customers regularly – helping to build the customer relationship
  • They are easy to update, no special programming or software skills are necessary
  • Blogs can be used build subscriber lists
  • It is possible to blog for free

All freelancers and businesses can use blogging to build customer relationships and raise awareness in a market.

Measuring Websites with Statistics

Most freelancers and small businesses use a website (or blog) as part of the marketing strategy. However many overlook one important aspect – measuring the success of the website. Website owners should define the purpose of a website, track the success and change the site if required, possibly adding new pages or changing the wording.

There are a number of tools available to track the performance of websites, such as measuring the number of visitors to each page, where visitors go when they leave a page (within the website or elsewhere), how many visitors take action (make contact, sign up for a newsletter, buy a product, etc.). If visitors are not taking the actions required, then the website needs to be changed.

A website may be a relatively low cost for small businesses and freelancers but it still an important part of the marketing plan and should be measured.

All successful businesses undertake marketing activity. Using software tools such as autoresponders, blogs and websites can support the marketing strategy.