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10 Tips For Business Website Design

computers with business website designs on them

Your business website design can be one of the single most important things to have for your business today. Many business owners and managers do not understand how vital a functional website is to the success of their business.

Everything changed in the world of marketing back in 2007 when Apple released the first iPhone. Over the next few years Androids, iPads, and Notebooks flooded the market almost overnight. Now it is easier and more convenient than ever for people to access the Internet.

If you were not paying attention, you might have missed this important trend which makes it vital for you to have a good website and not just an electronic billboard.

Internet and Website Trends Today

72% of people who have smartphones use it to access the internet. 51% of all internet traffic as of the writing of this article, is via a smartphone.

What happens when someone sees an advertisement for your business today? 94% of people will go online and research your business. They will look at your website, services offered, and read your online reviews.

According to Google Analytics, 96% of people who go to your website will leave without taking any further action. These people will not sign up for your electronic newsletter; they will not download a free report; they just leave and go to one of your competitors who came up when they Googled your company name.

There is a term used in online marketing – conversions. This simply means the people from your website that converted to a lead by filling out a form or called you directly, or if you have a shopping cart they bought something.

How your website is designed either help your conversions or hurts them. This means your website design will either generate leads and new customers or it won’t.

As a business owner, website design may sound like a foreign world and very complicated. People who design websites tend to make it seem that way, often it just hides the fact that they don’t know what they are doing.

10 Things To Consider When Creating a Business Website Design

#1: It is very simple really. What do you want when you go to a website? You want answers to questions, product information, prices, and solutions to problems. You do not what to have to look around. The flow should be obvious. Elements should be clear.

What things do your customers want to find when they are looking for your product or service?

#2 What is your goal with your business website design? In other words, what is the purpose of your website?

If you have a clear purpose of what you want to accomplish with your website it will be easier for you to communicate what is wanted to your web designer.

#3 Pages with clear headlines that answer the question of “what is in it for me?”

#4 Don’t use industry nomenclature and terminology. You will just confuse and cause your visitors’ eyes to glaze over and hasten a click out of your website. Explain in common language and present your services as benefits to the reader.

#5 Basic elements are: what, why, and how will it help me and how much is it. These are the most common things people are looking for. The “how much?” should be limited because for most businesses when you put a price on the website it stops the reach to call you and you want them to contact you.

Make it easy to contact you. The phone number should be prominently displayed everywhere possible.

#6 Call to action buttons or “doorknobs” as they are called are obvious. A doorknob opens a door to another section on your website. Doorknobs should be related to the subject being addressed or direct the person to the next logical step on their quest for more information.

#7 Don’t be obnoxious with pop-ups. Pop-ups are necessary to get conversions/leads but if used too much will drive people off your website.

#8 If possible, make your website a resource. People are on the internet looking for help and solutions to a problem. Go out of your way to provide service and to provide useful information.

The trick is to only provide enough information to “wet their whistle”, not to quench their thirst. You want to increase the reach of the person for more information to the point that they call or email you.

#9 Note on domains: Everyone’s first instinct is to select a domain for their website that is their company name. Which in some circumstances is okay, but it is better to have a domain that has keywords that people would search for. For example, a financial advisor could have retirementplanning.com or taxplanning.com or retiremeright.com

#10 hire a professional web designer. Just because WordPress and other services make it easy to design a website it does not mean you should have your brother-in-law or friend design it. There is a technology to designing and programming a website that you need to have in order to have a successful website.

We have a business web design division with the best designers and programmers to help your business have the best possible website.

 Have a question? Fill out the form below and one of our Marketing Consultants will contact you shortly.

Ideas for Marketing a Veterinary Practice Successfully

There is virtually no business that has no competition. Even small-town veterinary practices are feeling the competitive challenges. One thing is for sure, the hardest thing to see is a viable, vibrant practice slowly eroding. Erode it will if you are not putting marketing first.

What is the Best and Most Inexpensive Way to Advertise a Veterinary Practice Today?

Used to be you could get off easy by sponsoring your local softball team or 4H club. Not anymore.

As a veterinarian, your top responsibility, above even treating patients, is to create a brand in your local area. You’re probably saying to me right now, “you’re nuts bud, my job is to treat patients first”. You would not be entirely wrong, but hear me out.

If you have built your practice into a brand in your local area you will have; one, recession-proofed your practice, and two, you will have ensured that when you decide to retire and sell your practice you get top dollar.

How Do You Know When You Have Built a Brand?

  • If someone called 100 local residents in your area and asked them to name three veterinary practices and 75 people put your practice on the list. You would have built a brand.
  • If you have a steady flow of business coming in the door that almost seems unstoppable, then you probably have built a brand.
  • If you have a steady stream of qualified people applying for jobs. You have built a brand.
  • If you always have a lot more money coming in than going out for bills. You have built a brand.

The funny thing about building a brand is that you can never stop. Why? Patients move away, pets die, someone gets their feelings hurt by one of your staff who is having a bad day or your competition steals them away. Your marketing is always on. Your PR is always on. Excellent care and personal attention occur every day. You are advertising more broadly and consistently. It does get easier.

The basics of marketing to build a local brand name includes direct mail, a professional web presence, and top-notch patient care and follow-up.

Direct Mail

Direct mail works for veterinary practices because you can send a targeted mailer directly to pet owners in your area. You can even stipulate qualified pet owners who can afford services. With direct mail, you put something directly in the hands of a prospect and offer an invitation to do business with you. No other form of advertising can do that. There is a way now that you can track exactly the response you get from your mailer and follow-up with them regularly.

Web Presence

A strong web presence can mean many things today. When I say web presence I mean a professionally designed website.

In today’s market, the first thing interested prospects will do after they receive a mailer or see any other type of advertising is to go to your website. According to Google, 96% of people who go to your website will leave without taking any further action. Yet they are prospects. They are looking for your services because they went to your website.

There is even a way that we can identify prospective new clients who are on your website and follow-up with only them, conserving your advertising money.

Google Reviews

Today it is vital that you have an active program to generate reviews on Google from your patients.

Existing Patient Marketing

Marketing to your existing patients is a vital action because it prevents you from backsliding.

Mailing a newsletter will go a long way to help patient retention and boost your referrals. Newsletters for a veterinary practice are affordable and easy to do.

Many veterinarians try to go “on the cheap” with their marketing to existing patients by sending emails. Email marketing is okay, but it cannot be your main marketing effort today. Why? The average person is getting 250 to 300 spam emails every day. And you want to send them more emails? They won’t read it.

Also mailing thank you notes to every patient you treat each week goes a very long way to separate your practice from competitors. Nobody mails thank you notes anymore today. Mailing thank you notes to a patient makes your practice stand out and makes an impression. Mailing thank you notes for your veterinary practice is also a good way to give a gentle nudge to write a Google review for you.

If you and your staff are providing great care, as well as, personal and attentive service the above steps will be like throwing gasoline on a fire with your practice growth.

The Simple Man’s Marketing Plan

I am a simple man. I like things that are A to B, simple and straight forward. Technology is changing so fast nowadays it is difficult to keep up.

What is the best way to advertise your small business? Well, one thing is for sure, advertising a small business today “ain’t all sunshine and rainbows”.

Have you ever felt like you are throwing money down a flaming money pit when you try to advertise your business? Me too. Been there done that.

Have things really changed that much? On the surface, things seemed to have changed quite a bit. Your prospects are on the move and harder to reach than ever before. Even if you do manage to reach them, they are exposed to a lot of different advertising messages coming at them from a myriad of angles–not only traditional advertising mediums such as radio, TV, billboards, and magazines but with Google ads, Facebook ads, Twitter, Youtube and text messages.

The question is how can I get a response. There are two rules I apply to all advertising:

  • Will my advertising message actually reach the prospect?
  • How do I want them to respond? (How will they respond really?)

The answer to the first question is direct mail. It is the only medium today that actually reaches your prospect – directly – in their hands. Many people consider that direct mail is dead. Let me ask you this.

DO YOU KNOW ANYONE WHO DOES NOT HAVE A MAILBOX?

The answer is obviously NO, pretty much everyone has their mail delivered to their mailbox at least six days a week.

Direct mail is the only advertising medium available to you that has 100% usage by every demographic profile. You can develop a mailing list that targets any demographic group you have or can think of. NO – OTHER ADVERTISING MEDIUM AVAILABLE TO YOU THAT CAN DO THIS. None.

Then why did you not get results?

Direct Mail Fails For One of the Following Reasons:

1) Your message sucked. Sorry, I’m not sugar-coating it. The message you sent out had one or more of the following problems:

  • Too wordy. You tried to over-explain or describe your product/service. People read in short bites, looking for the main jest of the ad to see what’s in it for them.
  • You tried to advertise too many products in one mailing.
  • The product you advertised was not needed or wanted by the person receiving the mailer.
  • There was not a loss leader pricing on the product or service you were advertising. If you could get a better price from somewhere else, would you respond to the postcard?
  • There was no call to action on the mailer. Did you give them a reason to respond now?

Click Here For Design Tips On Your Next Direct Mailer!

2) The mailing list was not targeted correctly, was old or simply a bad mailing list. A mailing list is not something you should skimp on. Investing to get a good mailing list of fresh prospects is the basis of getting a good response.

  • Did you identify who the best prospect is for the product or service you are promoting? The better you can define your best prospect, the more targeted the mailing list can be.

3) You tried to time the market. When you mail a postcard or any other mailer you have absolutely no idea how many people will be ready to buy today, right now. Most successful marketing campaigns mail a mailing list of prospects 4, 5, 6 or more times.

  • The first time you mailed them they may not have considered that they needed or wanted what you were promoting.
  • The second time they kind of noticed what you were promoting and may have had a thought that it might be useful.
  • The third time you mailed them they went online to research your company.
  • The fourth time they set your postcard aside to call, but life got in the way and they did not get to it.
  • The fifth time they picked up the phone and called you or went to your store.

4) You did not take into consideration how people shop today. What do I mean by that? 90% of people do one thing before they contact you, do you know what it is?

90% of people who receive a postcard or other mailer from you and have an interest do one thing. They will go online to research your company, look at your reviews, look at the services you offer.

The problem with them going online to research you is that every competitor within a 3 to 5-mile radius of that prospect pops up when they Google your company.

96% OF PEOPLE WHO GO TO YOUR WEBSITE WILL LEAVE WITHOUT TAKING ANY FURTHER ACTION. They don’t fill out a form. They don’t download the cool eBook you have. They just leave and go on to the next competitor that popped up when they Googled your company.

What Can You Do About This?

We offer a program that uses Google & Facebook as follow-up tools. It makes direct mail more effective, less expensive and gives you a tool to track your actual response from your mailer. We can even tell you the names and addresses of people who go to your website.

Click Here For More Info On This Program!

There are four areas your marketing can fall on its face.

  1. Failure to reach enough prospects consistently enough to get a return.
  2. A poor website. If your website is not built to generate interest and capture identities you are losing business.
  3. Not having a follow-up plan. Today the average sale occurs after the 5th to 12th contact with the prospect.
  4. Having a voicemail system answer incoming calls. People hate voice attendants. Your prospect calling you will not punch one for sales, two for service. They will hang up and call your competitor.

If we can help you with a Direct Mail Marketing Campaign for your business, please fill out the contact form below and one of our Marketing Consultants will contact you shortly. We look forward to helping you.

 





    How to Design An Effective Postcard for Your Small Business

    Postcard marketing is easy and effective for most small businesses. How do you design an effective postcard? Should you use one of those postcard templates you found online?

    You want to design an effective postcard that is aesthetic and looks good. The problem is that “aesthetic” and “looking good” may not create a response and drive the traffic you want from your postcard mailer.

    You are not designing a home decorating project that Joanna Gaines would be proud of. YOU ARE TRYING TO GET THE ATTENTION OF AND DEVELOP INTEREST IN an offer you hope a prospect will respond to.

     

    First Things First, Things To Consider Before You Get Started

    Before you begin designing an effective postcard consider the end-user, AKA the recipient of the postcard. What is happening with your average prospect today?

    • They are very busy.
    • They are very rushed.
    • They consume media and advertising very lazily with their attention being sporadic and bouncing from one thing to another.
    • Consumers are bombarded with over 1800 advertising messages a day. Some ignore most of what they see and hear.

    The Following Are 10 Design Tips That Get Your Postcard Design Noticed:

    1. Clear and bold headline. The headline should contain the main benefit of the product or offer.
    2. Relevant photos and graphics.
    3. Use bright colors in the design. Remember the first step to any successful ad campaign is getting noticed. Pastel colors do not get noticed unless they are used to contrast brighter colors.
    4. You must include a special offer on your postcard. Give the prospect a reason to respond. The offer has to be of real value to the prospect.
    5. Reinforce the main headline on the front of the postcard with subheadline on the back that ties in and is relevant.
    6. Always include benefits to every feature mentioned. People buy benefits.
    7. Do not forget your company name, logo, website and most importantly your phone number. The phone number should be in at least two places on the postcard.
    8. Design-wise, your call-to-action has to almost clash with the rest of the card. It needs to be loud, bright and very noticeable. Make sure your call-to-action contains a benefit for responding now. By definition, a call-to-action is an action phrase, for example, “Call now and receive (blank) for $$$!
    9. Always have an expiration date on your offer. If it looks like they can buy your product or service anytime, why buy now?
    10. If you have reviews and testimonials include them. Third-party validation goes a long way today.

    Click Here To See More Postcard Samples

    Your Website – Is It Ready To Handle Leads?

    Today 90% of people who have an interest in your postcard offer will go online and check out your website and reviews. Make sure your website looks good and is designed to convert people from shoppers to buyers. I have seen many marketers lose 80% of their potential results with an outdated, poorly designed website.

    Watched the Video? Interested? Click Here For More Info

    Do not get cheap and hire your brother-in-law to design your website. Invest a little money and do it right. Your returns and leads from your website will pay off with a good design

    Getting noticed is the first step in any ad campaign. Postcard marketing puts a message directly in your best prospects hands. Do not waste this opportunity to get noticed. If your design is poor with too much information on the card and does not grab attention your mailer goes in the trash without even so much as a yawn.

    Need help designing an effective postcard mailer and campaign for your small business? Fill out the form below and one of our Marketing Consultants will contact you shortly.

    How to Generate More HVAC Leads & Referrals

    Today your success in generating quality HVAC leads largely depends on three things: 1) the quality of your service, 2) the amount and type of marketing you do, and 3) your website.

    I am going to take these in reverse order. I am amazed at the HVAC customers we work with who do not have a website or their website is old and has not been updated for 5 plus years. Bad, bad, very bad!!

    The way people shop today is that 90% to 95% of people will go online and research a business before calling. They check out your reviews and look at the services you offer online. Then they go check out your competitor’s website. If your website looks old, ugly and is difficult to navigate the prospect crosses you off the list.

    You don’t need to spend a lot of money on a website, but you also don’t need to have your brother-in-law or cousin do it because he has a knack for technology. Your website is the first impression your prospects will have of your business.

    Things You Must Have to Have a Good HVAC Website:

    • The website looks fresh
    • It’s easy to navigate. A prospect should never be more than one or two clicks from what they are looking for.
      1. Services you offer
      2. Specials you offer
      3. How to contact you
      4. Service areas
      5. Response time
      6. Guarantees
    • If you have the personnel, I encourage our clients to include a live chat feature on their website. A live chat feature is a pop up that engages the prospect in real-time asking if they need help. Look at it this way, if someone walked in your store you would ask them if they needed help or had a question. This is the same thing but on your website.
    • Make sure your phone number is plastered all over and is easy to find.
    • Content with specific keywords is important because it helps you pop up in the Google searches.

    Interested? Click Here For More Information!

    The Amount & Type of Marketing You Do Matters

    It use to be that to run a successful business and generate plenty of HVAC leads all you had to do is buy a half or full-page ad in the Yellow Pages. They do not even print Yellow Pages anymore – it is all online.

    Does this mean you should spend all your ad dollars online? The problem with that is no matter how big your ad budget is you will run out of money.

    A better strategy is to do a targeted mailer and use what is called remarketing ads. What is a remarketing ad? Basically, after you go to a website and leave, the remarketing ad follows you around the internet where ever you search. Very effective because the people who are on your website are prospects right now and following them with an online ad is easy and cost-effective.

    Direct Mail is a small business’s secret weapon. Let me ask you this–do you know anyone who does not have a mailbox?… Everyone has a mailbox and gets their mail delivered every day. Direct mail allows you to put a targeted message in front of a prospect for less than Google Pay Per Click ads, radio, TV or even billboards.

    Types of Mailers for HVAC Marketing

    • New mover mailers. They have just moved to a new home and do not have an existing relationship with another HVAC company.
    • Target area mailers. We have ways to get your postage down to 13¢ to 19¢ per piece, saving you a lot of money.
    • Existing customer mailers. It is always a good idea to stay in front of your existing clients. There are several ways you can do this.
      • Newsletters
      • Thank you cards
      • Service reminders

    Marketing and generating HVAC leads is simple if you have the basics in, a good website and do regular and routine mailers.

    If you need help with marketing your HVAC business, fill out the form below and one of our Marketing Consultants will contact you shortly.

    HVAC Marketing: Unplugging with Print

    HVAC marketing for new customers is very competitive because there is a digital war waging for the customers and prospective customers attention.

    What is the best way to advertise as an HVAC business? Is it time to go all digital marketing? Maybe, maybe not!

    Let’s look at the digital media vying for your customer’s attention.

    • Facebook
    • Google
    • Youtube
    • Twitter
    • Instagram
    • Angie’s List
    • Home Pro
    • Email marketing

    That is just a few of the digital platforms aggressively marketing to your customer. According to BankMyCell.com, the average smartphone user checks their device 47 times a day. That’s 17,155 times a year!

    What’s more staggering is 85% of smartphone users check their device while speaking with friends and family. Good news, however, many have come to recognize that things are off-balance. 47% of users have tried in some capacity to limit their digital consumption, although only 30% have been successful.

    These statistics should prove to you this fact:

    The struggle with digital addiction gives print marketing one of the most profound, impactful benefits of all:

    • It isn’t digital!
    • It can be held, it is real.

    Direct mail marketing still is the only advertising medium available to you that has 100% penetration and 100% usage. The United States Post Office delivers the mail 6 days a week, 52 weeks a year. Everyone gets his or her mail.

    Tired of Wasting Money On Advertising & Not Getting Results? Click Here

    Print marketing’s most underutilized aspect is using it as a follow-up tool. Because people are shopping more these days and taking longer to do so and because people are more informed than ever before, a nice leave behind brochure or flyer is tangible, real and more impactful than almost anything you can do. It also is a way for you to get real, actual time in front of your customers and prospects.

    In today’s oversaturated digital world, your prospects and customers have begun to appreciate companies that use marketing that gives them a chance to unplug from all things digital, and it’s one of the reasons that direct mail response rates continue to rise. Those same smartphone users, 92% of them in fact, say they prefer direct mail when making purchasing decisions (according to a recent DMR report).

    The choice is simple–by offering the tangible, physical, intrusive experience that print marketing provides, you’re allowing your consumers to unplug, to interact with your company, and to give full attention to your and your brand.

    It’s not digital! That is the Print Advantage!

    Marketing For Real Estate Agents

    Being a real estate agent you are in one of the most competitive industries in the world. Often sales and fortunes are made or lost on pure emotion.

    How as a professional real estate agent can you get more listings – sell more property? How can you stand out, be remembered and even more importantly be referred? I will share with you some ideas that can help you generate more new clients and sales.

    As you know in real estate the money and security are in the listings. So how do you get more listings? That is a great question.

    What do home sellers want? What are we looking for when we choose an agent?

    The answer is simple…we want to sell our home fast for top dollar!

    A better question would be what do we fear most when choosing a real estate agent?

    From the viewpoint of the person selling the home, the biggest fear is to hire an agent who just wants to list the home. We are afraid of hiring an agent who thinks its enough to just put a sign in the yard and collect a commission check in 3 or 6 months – for basically doing nothing but putting a sign out front and getting the property listing in the MLS.

    The Introduction

    The first impression does make a difference. I recently sold my home and interviewed 6 realtors. It amazed me that five of the six showed up dressed in what I will call generously “business casual”. I was going to pay the agent I listed with $60,000 in commission and they did not think it was important to dress up for someone that was going to pay them $60,000.

    The realtor we finally listed with came to the house dressed to the nines. She has been a realtor for 25 years and she has sold almost a billion dollars in residential real estate last year. Her appearance and presentation said to me that she knew what she was doing and was a professional.

    Outline Your Strategy For Marketing The Property

    You know the drill on this one, comps, professional property pictures, staging, etc. This also is the point where you build confidence that you are going to do more than just put a sign in the front yard and collect a check in six months.

    How to get buyers to the property. Do not just say “List it on the MLS or put on Zillow!” Everyone does that. If I’m going to hand you a commission check I want to feel like you EARNED IT!

    The agent I mentioned previously held a Broker’s Open House. Nothing new, a lot of agents do this. What was different is in the quality of the food she had. It was not hors d’oeuvres, but a catered meal. She said that to get other agents and brokers to show up you needed to feed them. She had photos of the Broker’s Open House that showed a lot of people and of the food.

    Demonstrate

    What is your track record? What can you do to show your expertise in the area? “Show” does not mean, “say or tell” it means to show them a printed, tangible proof of what you have done. At this point, this would mean a nice brochure with testimonials, show the client mailers you send out to promote your other properties. If you don’t have something nice that sells you – it is well worth the investment to hire a professional designer.

    Validate

    After you get the listing, validate the seller’s decision to hire you by doing one thing—be in communication.

    • Do not wait for the client to call you. You call them every week with an update.
    • Send them copies of the promotions and advertising you sent promoting their property.

    If you are not mailing promotion out every week you are costing yourself new listings, sales, and referrals. Seller’s talk to their friends about their listing agent, especially if they have evidence you are busting your tail to sell their home. Printed marketing materials are the validation that they chose wisely the right agent to list their home.

    • Develop a newsletter and mail to your existing and past clients, and to areas you want to get more listings in. A good newsletter would have tips, trivia and also showcase the current listings you have.

    The last statistics I recently saw stated that today people will sell their home every 5 to 7 years, so if you are not staying in front of your old clients you are losing potential listings.

    Today, it is easy to slip into the cheap and easy email blast promotion or social media post which is fine to do but should not be the only thing you do. Email marketing that is sent out is forgotten 3 seconds after it is sent and is deleted along with the hundreds of other emails. A printed postcard, newsletter or flyer is more real and has more of an impact than something emailed out.

    Your Website

    Finally, your website today is one of the best investments you can make in your business. A couple of tips for your website:

    • Sell yourself: bios, experience, specialty areas or neighborhoods, and testimonials.
    • Make sure your phone number is easy to see and find.
    • Content, tips, and tactics that interest and engage.
    • One of the best things you can do is to install a live chat feature on your website. People today are rushed and will not fill out an online form or call right away. Many will live chat, though. This gives you the ability to have a conversation with a prospective seller or buyer.

    Postcards Are On Sale Right Now – Buy 2500, Get 2500 Free!

    If you need help strategizing and coming up with a marketing plan to get more listings and sell more homes, give us a call at 727-536-4173 or fill out the form below and one of our Marketing Consultants will contact you shortly.

    What is the Best Way To Advertise Your Small Business?

    If I were to ask you what you want from advertising your business you would most likely say:

    1. You want a way to increase sales that’s fast and easy.
    2. You want to know if the advertising worked or not, judging by the volume of interested prospects who called or came into the store in the first few days the ad was running.

    Being a small business owner myself, I feel you!

    Fast easy sales and a volume of hot interested prospects flowing in the door is my ideal scene too.

    The challenge is that advertising worked this way about 8 to 12 years ago.

    Having said that it is possible for you to create a flow of interested prospects flowing in and people buying from your advertising.

    3 Challenges With Adverting for Small Businesses Today

    The way people respond to advertising has changed and if you are not aware of it you will rack up failed advertising campaigns and waste a lot of your money.

    1. About 95% to 98% of your potential sales will not happen immediately but will happen later. Only 1% to 2% of sales will happen after the initial contact with the prospect. Why?
    2. Because the bigger the ticket of the item you are selling, the more people shop and the longer your prospects will take to decide.
    3. People are bombarded with thousands of advertising message every day. They have a short memory and will forget you very quickly.

    You can create a steady flow on prospects coming in your door if you do one thing!

    FOLLOW UP!

    How important is follow up?

    If you are receiving thousands of advertising messages a day – which ones will you remember? The one you see the most.

    If your day is packed with activity, things to do, random emergencies, people calling for your attention, which advertising message are you most likely to respond to? The one you see the most often that seems to benefit you the most.

    Let’s look at most of the large Fortune 500 companies. Almost all of them advertise consistently.

    I know what you are thinking, “Well they have the money to advertise – I don’t.” You are right they do make a lot of money. These companies also made marketing their business a priority early and stayed with it.

    Advertising and choosing the right way to advertise for your business can seem overwhelming.

    • What is the best way to advertise your business?
    • Which will generate the best return for you? These are good questions.

    Let me try to give you the answer to these questions.

    What is the best advertising medium for a small business? Do you know anyone who does not have a mailbox?…No, you don’t. Everyone in the United States has a postal address and receives mail every, single day. Making Direct Mail the only advertising medium available to you that has 100% market penetration and 100% usage.

    Because your best prospects get their mail delivered every day and go through their mail every day, you can put a communication directly in the hands of your best prospect.

    Something you need to know about Direct Mail Advertising is that the way “response” is defined has changed.

    Let me ask you this if you received an offer in the mail or even saw a TV ad and you had an interest, what is the first thing you would do?

    If you said, “go online to find the website,” then you are like the 90% of consumers in the United States. You go online and research the company and the offer.

    • Is the company reputable? You read reviews.
    • Is there a better/cheaper offer? You look at competitive websites for better offers.
    • You get tired of searching the Internet, may get confused or maybe you see some clickbait that snags your attention and there you go, off down a rabbit hole forgetting what and why you were searching in the first place.
    • Or, after researching you pick up the phone and call the business you most feel can help you. The majority of the time today the act of buying does not happen quickly.

    The way people shop today definitely presents challenges but also is an opportunity for you.

    The opportunity is that the prospect was interested enough to Google your company since they just received the mailer from you otherwise, they would have just thrown the postcard away and would not have gone online to research you.

    How people shop today has a definite benefit to a small business because there is technology available that allows you to use your website as a sort of funnel for hot prospects.

    Once people go to your website Wilson Print Marketing can:

    • Follow them with an ad on Google and Facebook.
    • Identify them by name, address, and even phone and email.
    • Track the number of people who went to your website.
    • Track the number of calls you got from the campaign.
    • Track exactly when your direct mail piece is delivered to your prospect.

    Click Here For More Information

    No, it is not expensive.

    Yes, it is easy and turnkey for you.

    Yes, it works.

    All you need to know is who you want to reach.

    Things have gotten a whole lot easier for you for marketing your business. If you would like more information about how the above technology can help your business please give us a call 727-536-4173 or fill out the form below to request more information:

    Personalized Direct Mail Postcards For Small Business

    targeted direct mail postcardsPersonalization of direct mail postcards or other mail piece can boost your returns dramatically.

    Consider which you, personally, would notice first:

    1. A postcard with your name in the headline and in several other places on the postcard?

    OR

    1. A generic postcard. Your name is only on the address section of the card.

    The majority of peoples notice the personalized postcard more.

    The term used in the printing and marketing industry for personalization is Variable Data Printing (VDP).

    It used to be that you printed and mailed 5000 postcards and they all looked the same. They had the same headline, the same message and same photos.

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    With variable data postcard printing you can put the prospect name in the headline, and tailor the rest of the message to each individual prospect on your mailing list. Now you can send out 5000 different cards or direct mailers that have a custom message to each person.

    Is it more expensive? Sure it is, but the response can be 50% higher, while the cost to personalize the postcard is nominal.

    Direct mail today is very much alive and is more effective than ever. Personalization of the postcard direct mailers improves your readership, response and with that, your sales increase.

    I have spoken about personalized postcard mailers before, but there are several other direct mail applications for VDP as follows:

    • Variable Data Direct Mail Postcards.
    • Variable Data Check Mailers. Nothing gets attention like mailing faux checks. There is a whole technology behind it.
    • Variable Data Birthday Card Mailers for Business. Everyone has a birthday. We can get mailing lists with birthdays and nothing is more personal than sending a prospect a birthday card with special coupon.

    The ways you can personalize a mailer and mail in mass are limited only by your imagination. Variable data postcard printing is made possible by digital printing technology.

    If you are looking for a way to personalize your marketing with variable data printing and how it will work for you, ask your sales representative for more information.

    Looking for a way to make your direct mail marketing more effective AND a way to track results? Watch the video below to learn more about our Direct Mail Scout Program:

     

    The Cold Hard Truth About Why Your Marketing is Not Working

    My company designs and prints hundreds of thousands of postcards and other types of direct mail. The majority of the time our clients are extremely excited about getting their mailer designed and out in the mail.

    I am going to be blunt here for a moment. Many times, I would say 85% of the time our clients are their worst enemy when it comes to getting a good return on their direct mail.

    Example: Joe wants to promote his HVAC business. He buys a 20,000-piece direct mailer and wants to reach new customers. He even signs up for Direct Mail Scout, our service that combines Google with Facebook (an excellent way to boost your direct mail response by 40% – 60%)

    We design a kick ass postcard for Joe, based on years of experience and best practices for getting results.

    Joe, being excited shows the proof to his office manager, his wife, three of his service guys… And surprise every single person who has seen the proof offers a suggestion “to make it better”. Yet none of these people, while meaning well, has any design or marketing experience. Joe is quite resolute in making the changes to the card his people suggested.

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    The result is a postcard with too much verbiage on it, with a message that is watered down and is confusing to the reader and that gets no results.

    In the end, we can and will make suggestions to help you. Our only interest is that you get a great return from your mailer. At the end of the day – you are the customer and we will do whatever you want us to do, even if it is suicide for your results.

    The next area that can cost you sales is not having a good landing page or website. You see today that 90% of the people who have an interest in your product or service after receiving your postcard will, as a first step, go online and check you out. Yet, 96% of the folks that go to your website will leave your website with out taking any further action; they don’t fill out a form, they don’t call – they just leave. Gone!

    There are some things you can do to capture more business from your website:

    1) Make sure you are sending them to a landing page with information about the product or service you are promoting. If you are sending people to your website make sure on your home page there is information about the product or service you are promoting and is clearly visible. Don’t make them hunt for it because they wont.

    2) Include our Direct Mail Scout program with your mailer. It uses Google and Facebook as a follow-up tool and will generate dramatic sales for you.

    Click Here to Learn More About Direct Mail Scout!

    3) On your website have free downloads. Offer them something of value in exchange for their contact information. 80% of all sales occur after the 5th – 12th contact with the prospect. So follow-up and follow-up on your follow-up.

    4) Utilize a live chat service on your website. Most people who go to your website are seeking information. These people are hesitant to fill out forms or do a lot of clicking around to find what they want. If they can’t get their question answered quickly they are out of there and go to the next business on the Google search list.

    There a many live chat services, they can be linked to your smart phone and/or desktop so you will never miss an incoming lead. They offer people an easy and safe way to ask questions. Having a chat service on your website will allow you to have a conversation with a HOT prospect and you will sell more as a result.

    5) Realize that when someone calls you in this day and age, they are hot prospects. Most people do not call, they just do a Google search and shop around to find what they need. Make sure whomever answers your phone handles callers professionally and gets them the answers the prospects need or transfers the prospect to someone who can help them.

    I had one client recently who had a receptionist answer calls, when the prospect asked a question, she directed them to the website to download a pamphlet…bad, bad, bad, did I say, BAD mistake. When they call they are hot, they are reaching for service and the receptionist blows them off to the website. Answer their questions never ever send them back to the website – you can email them a brochure – but talk to them, try to close them on your service.

    You have to talk to the prospect. You have to follow-up with the prospect. You have to follow-up some more, and again and again with the prospect.

    1) Very few products of services have few or no competition.

    2) It is easier than ever for people to shop you and your competition.

    Follow-up is vital for your marketing to succeed.

    Direct Mail Envelopes That Get Opened

    Sales letters are one of the most effective forms of advertising for small business. Sales letters are a personal communication sent to a prospective customer, yet the most overlooked part of a sales letter mailer is the envelope.

    Looking To Do A Sales Letter? Click Here For Pricing!

    Depending on the product, message you are trying to relay and the type of prospect receiving your sales letter, you will want to put a little thought into how the envelope looks. If the envelope is too “sales-y” it will get thrown in the trash; too little on the envelope, it goes in the trash.

    The goal is to strike a balance between the two and build enough curiosity so that it gets opened and your sales letter gets read. I have listed some tips below to help you strike that balance for your next sales letter mailer:

    1.  Provide insight into the contents of your envelope, such as including a valuable coupon, how-to guide, newsletter, or sample.
    2. Treat your envelope like a billboard and crank up the excitement by using the front and back to promote your message or product.
    3. Consider creating an envelope with a window or die-cut shape that provides a glimpse of the contents inside.
    4. Establish prestige and add appeal with foil stamping or embossing.
    5. Increase urgency by including your deadline on the outside of the envelope to encourage readers to act fast to take advantage of your exclusive discount or promotion.
    6. Consider an oversized envelope, which is often the first thing that gets noticed in a stack of mail.
    7. Affix an anniversary seal, guarantee label, or warranty sticker as a simple way to add credibility.
    8. Test different ideas on envelopes and use different coupon codes to see which gains the most leads or sales.

    Click Here For More Information About Direct Mail Scout!

    If you are looking to design a creative envelope that is sure to get opened, our team would love to help you! If you would like a booster that will take your sales letter mailer to the stratosphere for results, ask your marketing representative about Direct Mail Scout. Direct Mail Scout combines the effectiveness of direct mail in targeting and getting directly in the hands of your prospect, with effective online follow up with Google & Facebook, PLUS mail tracking and call tracking all brought together in a online portal. You can login 24/7 and see exactly what response you are getting from your sales letter.

    Five Marketing Mistakes Small Businesses Make

    Marketing, for many small businesses, is something they know they should do, but yet neglect, put off or not do. Marketing is a vital part of your business. Without marketing, growth stagnates and sales can be a roller coaster ride —up then down—and running a business becomes more of a challenge than it should be.

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    What type of marketing is best for small business?

    Should you spend money on pay-per-click advertising for your business on Google? How about direct mail marketing for your small business? Or does a small business need to buy ads on Facebook or some other form of social media platform for their advertising?

    Whatever you decide to do, I wanted to share with you the 5 common errors that small businesses make when it comes to advertising and promoting their business. Advertising for small to medium businesses are not complicated. It can seem so at first, but not when you break it down to the basics:

    Advertising Mistake Small Businesses Make #1:

    Not carving out the time every week to confront and handle advertising.

    You should set aside one to two hours minimum every week to plan your advertising and coordinate the purchase of advertising. When your company grows larger, then hire an employee to handle the marketing for you. Having said that, even when you hire someone to handle your marketing, this does not mean you can ignore marketing your business altogether. The two things you absolutely need to pay attention to as a business owner or manager are your marketing and your money. Marketing does not need to be complicated, it only gets complicated when you make mistake #2.

    Advertising Mistake Small Businesses Make #2:

    Not identifying who your best prospects are for your business.

    Identifying the target means you are shooting to identify the person who makes buying decisions for your product or service. Doing this for a small business a lot easier to purchase the correct advertising for your business. Billions of dollars are wasted each year on advertising because small businesses use the spray and pray advertising approach. Which means you spray whatever advertising you can afford and pray it gets you some business in the door.

    Your business has a type of customer that is best for you. By “best” I mean, you are equipped and experienced to service that type of customer’s needs, and you also make a reasonable profit servicing them.

    Questions to ask yourself when determining who your best type of prospect is for your small business:

    • Who buys this product or service from you?
    • What areas do they tend to live?
    • How much money do they make?
    • How old are they?
    • Anything else unique your ideal customers that helps to identify them?
    • How much do they spend on your product or service?
    • Why do they buy your product or service from you? What problem does your product or service solve for them?
    • Why do they buy from you? You should ask a few of your current customers to find out why they bought from you. Your most recent customers are usually the best people to ask this question.

    Knowing the above information will help you sort through types of advertising mediums available to you and decide which is the best to reach these prospects. If you are doing Direct Mail Marketing, you can really hone in on your target market and put a message directly in their hands with little or no waste. The correct mailing list is the FOUNDATION of a successful direct mail campaign.

    Advertising Mistake Small Businesses Make #3:

    Not know what your average new customer is worth.

    Make no mistake about it, when you advertise your business you are buying customers. Knowing the value of what you are buying will help you determine what return you need on your advertising investment to make spending the money worthwhile. The people (prospects) you are trying to reach are currently doing business with a competitor or, because of a life change now need your product or service.

    • What is a new customer worth to your business a year?
    • How many years do they usually stay with your business?

    **NOTE: THE VALUE OF A NEW CUSTOMER IS SELDOM OR EVER A ONE-TIME PURCHASE.

    To determine the real value of a new customer: take the worth per year and multiply it to the number of years the average customer stays with your business and that equals the real worth of what a new customer is worth to your business. The worth of a customer is never the value of a one-time sale.

    Knowing this number will help you evaluate a return from your advertising investments.

    Advertising Mistake Small Businesses Make #4:

    Lack of repetition of your message and lack of consistency of advertising. Repetition sells.

    This mistake usually occurs because of mistakes 1 – 3 above and from confusing response from results. Response is people who may call or inquire but are not necessarily buyers. Results are buying customers.

    True, you need a certain amount of response, but it needs to be qualified responses from prospects who have a need for your product, can afford it and are ready to buy…results are really what you want. It does you no good for you to get 100 inquiries from an ad and no sales because the respondents are unqualified.

    People tend to go through a buying cycle for most products that range from:

    • “That’s an interesting product or service”
    • “I wonder how that product would work for me?”
    • “Wonder how much it costs?”
    • “Let’s check it out.” (Goes online to your website to you check out.)
    • “Want to think about it – don’t want to make a mistake, better shop around.” – “I’ll ask Joe, he has one, let’s see what he thinks?”
    • “This seems like a pretty good deal – will call next week”
    • “I really want it – how fast can I get it?”

    The above cycle, depending on your product or service, can go from several days to several months. The point is if you advertise and hit your prospect one time you are basically priming the market for your competition.

    Advertising to a particular audience consistently pays dividends over a period of time.

    People tend to procrastinate buying today more than ever. Research of the buying patterns of people in the United States shows that most sales are made after the 8th to 12th contact with the prospect.

    This means if you are buying any advertising with a “test it and we will see” attitude you are wasting your money. You may get some response, but you will always spend more than you get back, always. You would do better stapling $100 bills to your business cards and throwing them off the tallest building in town, this is the same effect as running one ad and done.

    Pick the media that best suits reaching your best customer that you can afford to do regularly and consistently – and do that. As sales come in and you have more money for advertising, buy more ads on that medium.

    Advertising Mistake Small Businesses Make #5:

    Buying an advertising medium because it is trendy can lead to wasted money. If you are a small business competing with larger competition the fact is, you simply don’t have the money and resources to outspend your competition. So the rule of thumb is to stay away from advertising that puts you in a big pond with all the bigger fish competing for the same food. The big fish pond mediums are Google pay-per-click, Facebook advertising, TV, or Radio. Why they reach a lot of potential prospects? Because they are big ponds that require a large investment to be consistent enough to get the return you need and they are full of bigger competition that has a lot more money than you do to market.

    You have tons of advertising choices at your fingertips, but which is best for your business boils down to 4 things:

    1. Can it target exactly who you want to reach?
    2. Can it put your message directly in the hands or in front of the eyes of your best prospects?
    3. Can it be easily tracked?
    4. By using this medium, can you easily bypass your competition and get directly to the prospect?

    You want your postcards to look professional, but at the same time contain an affable message that produces a pleasant emotional reaction from the readers. Postcards that contain a brief personal message generate significantly more replies than those that read a “cool” and formal ad.

    Using the above checklist will help you sort it out what type of advertising is best for you.

    One of the few advertising media available to you today, that you can achieve one through five above is Direct Mail Marketing. Direct mail is not as sexy as social media or Google PPC but it has been proven and it works. Your business will go directly to whom you want to reach, putting a message directly in their hands and bypassing the competition. With direct mail, you dictate the size of pond you market in and control that pond.

    We have taken direct mail and modernized it with mail tracking, call tracking, online follow-up with Google & Facebook (because repetition sells) with an easy-to-use online dashboard that will show you exactly the response and the results you are getting from your advertising. The name of the product is Direct Mail Scout.

    Call 727-536-4173 or Click Here for More Info On Direct Mail Scout!

     

    Need help with your small business marketing? Fill out the form below and one of our Marketing Consultants will reach out to help.

     

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