Do you ever wonder why some businesses grow exponentially while others struggle to survive?
The answer, in one word, is: MARKETING!
It’s how I built PostcardMania from a fledgling startup to a $45 million enterprise with 200 employees. But there is a right way to market your business – and, of course, a wrong one. So today, I’d like to discuss the 4 marketing mistakes that successful small business owners NEVER make.
Let’s get right to it:
1. Successful business owners DON’T give up on a campaign too soon.
I understand the instinct to cut your losses when you don’t start seeing the returns you were hoping for right away. But marketing is a long game. You have to give your campaigns a chance to gain momentum.
When you send out a direct mail piece, you’ll usually start seeing interested leads in 1 to 3 weeks, and an increase in your revenue after 4 to 6 weeks.
But it depends on your buying cycle. Restaurants and retail shops, for example, have a short cycle – so they’ll usually start seeing their revenue go up after just a couple of weeks. But a business that sells big-ticket items – say, a roofing company – has a much longer buying cycle because it’s a big investment that prospects need to plan and save for.
When you send your mail piece a second time, the cycle starts again. And as you continue with repeat mailings, you create a snowball effect and you’ll find that you continually have leads coming in! On the flip side of that, if you just send out ONE batch of postcards (or whatever kind of marketing you’re doing), you might get one spike in leads – but probably no more than that.
In short: If you want to keep leads coming in, you have to keep marketing. I advise sticking to a program for 12 months before you say it’s not working and give up. (You can always tweak it as you go!)
2. Successful small business owners DON’T push the hard sell.
Here are a couple of statistics to consider:
- 86% of people say they skip TV ads (The Guardian)
- 62% of Americans are on the “do not call” registry (Federal Trade Commission)
I don’t know about you, but to me that says that people don’t like being sold do! Push them too hard, too fast and you’ll lose them as a potential customer forever. That’s why I tell my clients NOT to try to sell their products and services with their direct mail postcards.
No, really. Let me explain.
The purpose of your postcard is to introduce the benefits of your product or service to your prospects and get them to visit your website or call your business. That’s it. When they do, you get their contact information so you can follow up and close the sale.
3. Successful small business owners DON’T use bait-and-switch tactics.
Here’s a question: Would you prefer to make one sale, or create a loyal customer who buys from you again and again?
That’s what I thought!
I like to say: Don’t create customers. Create relationships.
As much as people don’t like being sold to, what they like even less is being taken for a fool. That’s why you need to establish TRUST with your prospects.
Everyone loves getting a good deal, which is why you should put a valuable – but believable – offer on your direct mail piece.
Let me show you what I mean:
Good offer: 50% hair cut and styling
Good offer: First month of dance lessons FREE
Not-great offer: $10 off tax prep services
Not-great offer: Free 62-inch TV* (the asterisk tells them it’s NOT free at all!)
Make your prospects a good offer that makes them want to try out your business, and when you wow them with your product or service, you’ve created a customer who will most likely buy from you again.
4. Successful small business owners DON’T treat customers poorly.
Speaking of customers… they deserve your respect!
That seems like a no-brainer, right? Yet I think we’ve all probably experienced poor customer service. And what do we do? We never go back to that business, right?
But I’m not just talking about prompt and courteous service. I’m talking about building those relationships.
Talk to your customers. Find out what their problems are and figure out a way to solve them. Send them email newsletters, giving them exclusive deals and a heads up about upcoming sales. Ask for their birthdays and send them special discounts!
An American Express survey found that 58% of consumers are willing to spend more money at a business that provides excellent customer service.
But even more than that:
A loyal customer base is part of an effective marketing strategy!
- More than 80% of consumers are comfortable making a referral after a positive experience (Texas Tech University)
- People are 4 TIMES more likely to buy when they’ve been referred by a friend (Nielsen)
So there you have it: 4 things successful business owners NEVER do – and neither should you!
Visit our website to see postcard designs that are currently working for your industry and have free samples delivered to your home or office!
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