Advertising, the best bang for the buck

One of the best ways to advertise and make it the best bang for the buck is to advertise to people who are already familiar with you. The best online example is through building and advertising through your own newsletter.

Now, there is nothing new about this, it's not just an Internet thing. Companies and organizations have always made offers through their monthly and quarterly newsletters. I am no history buff, but I would say that newsletters are probably the largest example of this.

Every time you read a newspaper, there is always a discount price if you become a regular subscriber. In the larger cities you will often see an ad in the paper that goes something like this, " Buy 8 Sunday papers and get the weekdays free"

And guess what! You do not need to have a website to take advantage of building an Internet based newsletter, although I highly recommend it. For instance on one of my sites I sell autoresponders. When I send updates to my current and prospective customers about the service, I usually include special offers. These offers usually bring me additional orders in the form of new clients or upgrades.

I have already mentioned that this can be used by on-line and off-line businesses. Let's look at another example. Let's say you are the owner of a plumbing and heating business that specializes in residential customers, and your business has no Internet presence.

I don't know much about the plumbing business, but I would guess that residential customers don't need much repeat service throughout the course of a year. So the question is how do you make more money from them.

If you use traditional off-line advertising, you could send them a post card 2 or 3 times a year. The first would be just a few weeks after you performed service for them, saying you were glad to serve, contact you if there is a problem, and ask for referrals. The second card would be to give a few hints on how to winterize your pipes and heating system. The third could be after winter on how to condition your cooling systems. Does this cost you money, yes? You will need to at a minimum to purchase cards, postage, and have someone do the mailings. But when any of these customers need more service, your name is very likely to be high on their list.

Now, let's use an on-line advertising model. Instead of contacting only your current customers you can also contact prospective customers, at no additional cost. The first thing you want to do is get your current customers to give your their email addresses. And believe me lots of households (single family homes) have at least one email address.

Next get at least a one page website, free or paid. Obliviously, paid would be the best option. The site could be very simple. Just enough to introduce your self and your business. And to include a form for current and prospective customers to signup to receive your newsletter. Now that you can deliver a full blown newsletter instead of just a postcard you can include a lot more information. Because of the low cost you can send it much more frequently.

So, what do you include in the newsletter? Instead of one line tips like, "remember to change air filters", you can include anything from one paragraph to multiple pages. Talk about when to change them, the best types to use, how to protect yourself while making the changes. Talk about the hazards of not changing filters. In the summer you can talk about how to condition your air conditioners. In the winter you could talk about how to prepare your heating system and safety measures. I think you get the idea now.

What does giving them all this info do for you and your business? It will increase your business. You are building a relationship with the people receiving your newsletter and they will begin to trust you. People spend money with companies they trust.

Did I mention that it can be much cheaper to use the on-line process than off-line? You still need to make sure you are reaching your target market. You can also stretch your marketing dollars by using the same method I am using now. Not only will this go out to people receiving my newsletter, but I will submit this article to others who might publish it as well, at no additional cost. This way people may begin to trust me or at least take an interest in seeing what else I might have to say, and they will join one of my newsletters or service. You could do the same.

You could partner with other businesses in the home improvement arena.

Tell them how to setup a website and newsletter. If you partnered with an electrician, you could print his tips and he could print yours. The customers when, by getting more valuable information, you when by reaching more homeowners and so does your partner. And it does not have to stop a just two businesses. How about including roofers, and cabinet makers, re-modelers, etc?

 

This process is commonly referred to as a joint venture. I hope that with this information that I was able to be of service.

 

Kelvin Brown

webmaster@followup101.com

 

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