fbpx

How To Turn Your Website Into a Lead Generating Machine

Let me ask you a question?

How many new clients did you get from your website this year? This week?

If your answer is none, then there is a problem with your website that is costing you business.

Today, 98% of purchases begin with online research. Your website is often the first impression a new customer will have with your company.

How do you know if your website is defective? Easy, how many inquiries are you getting from your website in the last week, month – year?

Today, your prospective new clients are the most educated and well-informed group of consumers in history. They “Google” it when they are shopping.

The bigger the ticket item you are selling or if you are in a heavily competitive business the more vital it is to have a professionally designed website.

Five or ten years ago you could get away with an “electronic brochure “ website design but today you will lose business because of it. The days of being able to have an “electronic brochure” of a website are long gone.

Something is wrong with your website: does it seem more difficult to get a new client today than ever before?

The reason it seems harder to get in front of prospective new customers today is that you don’t have your business set up as a lead-generating machine.

Step 1 and the 880 HP Hellcat engine of your “lead machine” today is your website. If you do nothing else but have a good website you will be way ahead of the majority of competitors in your area.

10 Ways to Turn Your Website into a Lead-Generating Machine

1. The number one reason is your website doesn’t generate business is that it is outdated. The site looks old, the content is confusing and difficult to read and navigate. There is no flow or logical next step for the visitor to take on the site. The site is a smattering of random information.

2. The content is difficult to understand. If a visitor to your website is greeted by strange words, industry terminology, and terms, visitors will get confused and quickly leave your website.

Don’t assume consumers will understand your industry lingo. They generally don’t and won’t take the time to look up they will just leave your site and go to a competitor’s website.

3. Your website is difficult to navigate. When a prospect goes to your website they are usually looking for an answer to a question. People are not going to hunt and peck around to find what they are looking for on your website. If they don’t see it – they will leave, quickly.

When people go to your website they should be able to easily see where to go to get information or at least a promising direction for the answer.

Unclear navigation is the number one reason why visitors will leave a site.

4. Generic content. This is a real killer. All the search engines are built around helping people find useful content and answers to their questions.

Making your website a resource by providing useful information will help you rank higher in searches.

5. Make sure your site is registered with Google business as well as the other search engines as well. This is the basis of getting more traffic to your website.

6. Make getting reviews from customers a priority. Reviews do two things: 1. They provide validation for buying decisions. And 2 they help you to rank higher on searches the more reviews the better.

7. Hire a professional to design your website.  Look, I know it may seem easy to DIY with one of those website template sites. Unless you are a designer and understand the importance of things like eye trail, site navigation, and programming you are wasting your time. There is a lot more to designing an effective website than putting a pretty picture and logo on a page.

The cost for a custom website averages between $1800 to $3500 depending on what you need and want. We also offer a monthly lease option for a new website that ranges in cost from $129 to $169 per month and includes hosting on a high-speed server.

8. Branding is neglected. Your prospective new customers have hundreds of options for similar products and services at their fingertips.  Your new customers buy you first. The more personal and helpful you make your website the better.

At the end of the day, what are you selling? It is not your product or service. You are selling help. Solutions to a problem. If you think about it – that is your brand, the place that provides help and solutions to problems your customers have.

9. No call to action or a hard-to-find call to action on the website. What do you want your website visitor to do on this page?

  • Do you want them to download a report?
  • Schedule an appointment?
  • Go to the next logical page on your site?
  • Call you for a consultation?

What?

The call to action needs to be clear. Every page should take the person to the next logical step. The next step for the visitor should always be obvious and easy to see. This is the foundation of an effective website.

10. Your phone number is hard to find. Look, at the end of the day, most businesses don’t make a sale unless you get in front of a client. The first step is usually a phone conversation.

Your phone number should be all over your website and should not be in small print in an obscure place on your site. You need prospects to call you, every fiber of your website should be your be geared toward inviting a person to call or take the next step.

The formula for an effective website is:

  1. Get and hold attention.
  2. To provide help and answers.
  3. Add value by educating and enlightening.
  4. Invite action regularly, often on every page.
  5. Get visitors to want to have a live conversation with you.

TRAFFIC: the most overlooked thing about websites today is you have to drive traffic to your site. You can have a beautiful website and still get no leads from it. You have to have traffic in your store.

There are two basic ways to drive traffic to your website:

One: buy ads on Google & Facebook. When you buy ads on Google & Facebook you will often be going up against competitors with more money and expertise than you have. You start at a disadvantage before you even get started.

Two: a more direct and effective is Direct Mail. What makes direct mail so effective is you can buy a mailing list of exactly who you want to reach and put a message they can hold in their hands. We also have a program that combines Direct Mail with Google and Social Media that is effective and affordable.

Employee & Supply Chain Problems: Problem & Solutions, Part 2

A few years ago I wrote an article that turned out to be one of our most viewed and read titles, Problems and Solutions.  The business environment in the last couple of years has changed and is fluid, to say the least, and there are a new set of problems we have not faced for a while.

Today we are dealing with labor shortages, supply chain issues, and price increases AKA inflation. Most businesses I talk to say business is very good. They have lots of demand but need more people, supply is tight and everything is getting expensive.

growing your business during supply chain problems

Problem 1: Staff Shortages

“I need more people.” “I can’t find anyone who wants to work”  “I am concerned about being able to deliver what I have sold now.”

Sound familiar?

This problem is really a money problem. If you have the cash to pay you can find top people.

You do not want to spend money on promoting your business because you worry you will not be able to deliver. The solution is getting more and better new customers.

Solution: Promote – don’t ever stop. Two things happen when you continue your company promotion.

  1. You have more customers coming in which means you can be more selective about who you work with.
  2. Being able to focus on your most profitable and easy-to-work with new customers solves a lot of headaches. Your cash situation will improve and you can afford to pay more for good people.

Problem 2: Supply Chain

“We are having trouble getting materials or products to sell we can’t handle any more business.” I hear you on this. This is very real right now.

Solution: You can’t give up. You have to promote and keep the flow of new customers coming in. If you go into agreement with the 24/7 news cycles of “bad news” you will want to pull back and conserve.

To conserve is the first step on the path of closing your business’s doors forever. Why? Because when a business conserves it starts contracting, getting less and less able to control its own destiny.

The solution to almost all of your problems as a business owner is to promote because it increases your size and scope and your ability to overcome any problem.

The answer to most of your business’s problems is promotion.

Your business is either improving or getting worse, even if it is by a little at a time. There is no such thing as coasting…you only coast when you are going downhill.

Check Mailers Out-Perform For Distressed Property Leads

How to generate distressed property leads

The distressed property industry is very competitive and getting more so every day. Check mailers are a great way to produce distressed property leads. This type of mailer generates more calls than any other type of direct mailer.

What Exactly is a Check Mailer?

A check mailer is simply a sales letter that appears to be a check in an envelope.

For real estate buyers, if you are looking for a way to get through to owners of a distressed property then a check mailer is efficient for three reasons:

  1. It gets noticed. Especially for people who have hit on hard times and are looking for a way out.
  2. Combine the check with a sales letter and you can explain how you can help the homeowner from being foreclosed on.
  3. Direct mail allows you to put your message directly in the hands of your best prospects.

A check mailer generates a response far and beyond any other type of marketing you can do.

There are only 3 things that can go wrong with a promotional check mailer– only three:

One. You are using an old, stale, or incorrectly targeted mailing list. The source of your data is important, especially for distressed property.

Two. Your message fails to communicate.

Three. You do not have a built-in follow-up method with your mailer program.

If you are looking to generate distressed property leads, check mailers can provide the best response.

 

sales letters that sell ebook

FREE EBOOK

10 Tips For Writing Sales Letters That SELL!




    Do I Really Need A Printed Brochure Today?

    Do you really need a printed brochure in today’s marketplace? That is a good question and obviously, I have a vested interest in saying, “yes you need a brochure for your business”.

    The truth depends on what you are selling.

    woman using a printed brochureWith bigger ticket sales, products, and services that have a perceived risk of potential loss and industries that have a lot of competition or that require follow-up to close the sale, the answer is absolutely you need a printed brochure or booklet. Your next question is probably, “Why can’t I send them a digital brochure? A PDF brochure costs me nothing and the client can read the brochure when he or she wants to.”  

    This would appear to be true.

    My question to you is do you want to win a new customer or make yourself feel good that you are following up because you sent them an email with a PDF brochure attached?

    The fact is the average person is bombarded with over 250 to 300 spam emails…every day! The added problem with sending emails with a digital brochure attachment is people are afraid of opening email attachments nowadays due to computer viruses and hijacking fears. People also do not read emails, they scan them. So is sending an email really that effective? People are generally nice and do not want to say no to a salesperson, so the easiest way to get rid of a salesperson is to have them email information “to read”. So you email them and then you can never get them to take your call and the sales cycle ends there.

    Here Are The Facts About Using a Printed Brochure For Your Business:

    1. People tend to believe what is written over digital because it is more real to them. They can see a printed brochure, hold it, and touch it.
    2. When you hand or send a brochure to a prospect they see it. If it is designed properly they will read it and respond. 76% of people say they keep printed information about products they have an interest in for reference.
    3. Using a printed brochure helps validate the buyer’s decision to go with your company, leading to less buyer’s remorse and more sales.
    4. A brochure should help guide the buyer through their decision by explaining benefits and providing proof. This works best in printed material.
    5. Most of your competitors are probably using digital brochures if anything at all. It is easy to spot a professional, reputable business just by the quality of their marketing materials. At least that is what your prospect feels. First impressions do matter.
    6. Printed marketing material makes your business real to the prospect.
    7. Mailing a follow-up brochure is more effective because there are no spam filters in a mailbox and people do at least look at their mail.
    8. Printed brochures are generally inexpensive to produce.
    9. A printed brochure will help you to close more business for higher prices.

    To sum it up you need a printed brochure because you need to be effective. Printed brochures are a proven tool to winning new customers.

    If you want to know how to get a brochure for your business, please contact our office. We can help.

    Three Reasons Why Your Mailer Failed

    There are only three reasons why a direct mail piece fails to pull a response for your business:

    1. The piece was mailed to the incorrect prospect for the product or service. (i.e. you have an old, bad, or incorrectly targeted mailing list.)
    2. The piece that was mailed did not communicate to the reader.
    3. No follow-up or consistency of mailing.

    Unlike with other methods of advertising your small business where the problems and reasons why it failed are clouded, direct mail marketing is the opposite…the fix is always simple. All three of the above reasons are within your power to handle and fix.

    Direct mail is the only form of advertising that does reach 100% of the time your best prospective new customer. So if the mailing list that you’re using is good, you can rule that out and the next thing to check is the design and message of your mailer. We know that the United States Post Office delivers the mail, every day. We know that people get their mail from their mailboxes and go through their mail. What happens or doesn’t happen after they get the mailer is a failure in communicating.

    The following is a checklist for debugging the failure to communicate in a direct mail piece:

    1. Did you try to advertise more than one service or product? Loading a direct mail piece or any other form of advertising with more than one product or service can cause confusion for the reader. People have short attention spans nowadays and will not read a lot of copy.
    2. Did your mailer have too much copy? You have to have photos and graphics to break up the copy. No one wants to read a textbook.
    3. Did you promote the benefits of owning the product or having the service?
    4. Did you have a headline that stated the benefit of the product or service?
    5. Did you give the reader a reason to buy? A special offer? Something to get them to respond now? Whatever it is, it has to have a perceived value.
    6. Was the special offer a good value based on what your competitors are offering?
    7. Did you give them a way to respond that is obvious? The phone number needs to be in a large bold font, that is easy to find and see. Is the email or website easy to find?
    8. Did you ask them to respond and give them an expiration date for the offer you presented in the piece?
    9. Did you avoid using industry terms that a normal person would not know the meaning of?
    10. Was the piece easy to read?
    11. Could you look at it and in 2 seconds know what it is about?

    Direct mail marketing is easy. The failure to communicate is a big reason you did not get a response.

    You could also have gotten a huge response and simply did not know it. You might be thinking, “Wait! That does not make any sense. How could I have not known I got a response?”

    Today people will respond to your advertising in one of three ways:

    • They will call
    • They will walk into your store.
    • They will go to your website and check you and your company out.

    In fact, 98% of people who are interested in your offer will go to your website long before they call or buy something from you. If your website is old or not designed to convert leads you are losing business. Having a well-designed website is vital to your business’s success today.

    We offer free website analysis and can give you tips that you can use to make your website better and convert more leads. For more information, click here.

    What Is The Best Way to Generate a New Lead Today?

    There is no doubt that it takes more effort to generate a new lead today than it did a few years ago.

    Research has shown that the average prospect will respond to advertising and marketing after 8 to 12 contacts (or touches).  My feeling is that it takes even more touches than that to get a response today. People are over-advertised nowadays and ads are everywhere. The average person is exposed to over 1800+ advertising messages in a single day.

    To further complicate the process of getting a new customer, the Internet puts you right smack in the middle of a pot of competitive stew.  There are so many choices for your prospects. Who do they choose? The sheer volume of choices a person who is interested in your services has created a sort of bottleneck in your prospective new customer’s mind and complicates their decision-making process.

    It use to be that you ran an ad in the local paper or sent out a mailer and you were able to tell exactly what you got for the expense. Not any more.

    So what do you do? You need new customers, in fact, if you are not seeking new potential new customers for your business, more aggressive competitors will soon leave you in the dust.

    So what is the best way to generate a new lead today?

    The answer to that question is in three parts:

    1. You have to get noticed.
    2. You have to create interest.
    3. You have to follow-up, and follow-up, and follow-up… and follow-up some more.

    funnel to generate a new lead todayWhen it comes to the “sales funnel” there are four types of potential new customers for your business:

    1) A SUSPECT:  This is a group of people you think would be good prospective new customers for your business.

    • This is based on a profile you put together for who is the best buyer of your product or service.
    • It is from this “profile” that you get the mailing list or select the media that best reaches these people.
    • Suspects are at the top and wide end of your sales funnel. You want lots of them to load at the top of your company’s sales funnel.

    2) A LEAD: A lead is someone who has responded to your advertising. You usually do not know much about them other than they filled out a form on your website or called in for an estimate.  They may or may not be a qualified buyer for you. You will not know until you have a conversation with them and qualify them.

    • Just because you talked to them once does not mean they will automatically open their wallets and buy. This is especially true the larger the ticket of the item you are selling. So, you follow-up & follow-up.
    • A lot of work goes into the “lead” section of your sales funnel because your company is most likely not the only one this person has reached out to. They are in the researching phase of the buying cycle.
    • The rule of thumb is the squeaky wheel when gets the grease. The grease is in this situation is your following-up with them.

    3) A PROSPECT: This is a lead that you have spoken to and qualified to be a good potential new customer for your business.

    A prospect is someone who has reached out to you and you have had a conversation with. You know a little about them and what they want. Maybe you sent them a proposal.

    • You have decided that this person is a good potential new customer for your business.
    • You present them and if you don’t close them, you follow up with them.
    • It may require you to send them a brochure that explains the benefits and answer typical questions.

    4) A CUSTOMER: This one is obvious. The person bought something from you. This is the bottom of the funnel. The majority of the work is done to create a new customer.

    • You still want to have a marketing program the goes to your customers on a regular or semi-regular basis.

    The majority of businesses today are losing hundreds of prospects because they do not know who is on their website and do not have a tool to follow up with any anonymous visitors to their website. Our Direct Mail Scout program gives small businesses the tools to identify and follow up with website traffic.

    The best way to generate a new customer is by hitting your “suspects” from a variety of channels.  A channel is simply the medium you are using to advertise, i.e. direct mail, email marketing,  Facebook, Google advertising, TV, etc.

    You are trying to do two things when you advertise…get ATTENTION and generate INTEREST.

    For our clients, we offer a program called Direct Mail Scout where we hit the prospect in the following ways for our clients in a single program.

    • Direct mail is still the best way to get in front of the majority of people. Mailing lists have come a long way and you can precisely target who you want to reach.
    • Google ads, both geo-targeting and remarketing.
    • Facebook, both geo-targeting and remarketing.
    • Gmail ads, 65% of the population has a Gmail account and Gmail runs ads at the top of the email inbox.
    • Email sent by USPS as part of their Informed Delivery program. This program announces that your mailpiece is being delivered.
    • Youtube video The 2nd largest volume of searches on the Internet is Youtube.
    • LeadMatch. We identify prospects who went to your website and left. It is like a caller-ID for your website. With LeadMatch you can build a list of hot prospects to market to.

    The biggest error most business owners and marketing people make is that they do not understand what it takes to generate a lead today. There is no shortcut way to do it and no one medium can do the job by itself. That is where we come in to coordinate and execute for you. For more information, click here.

    10 Ways to Increase the Effectiveness of Your Brochure

    What will make your small business’s brochures more effective?

    The following are 10 powerful techniques that will help you improve the look and the effectiveness of your business’s sales brochures and marketing material that you give your customers.

    Brochures have been used by businesses to sell products and services for decades, yet most brochures that are designed for business use are ineffective. Why is that?

    1. The purpose of the brochure is forgotten and the design proceeds haphazardly.

    The purpose of any brochure is to guide the reader/buyer towards the decision to buy or to validate his decision to buy.

    2. The second reason a small business brochure fails is the business owner wants to have a brochure with a laundry list of everything they offer or use too many product features with no benefits.

    The purpose is usually overlooked and the brochure is laden with too much copy.

    Resist the urge to laundry list everything your company does in one brochure.

    3. Not enough graphics or graphics that do not support the message. Graphics are photos and design elements that always should support the message of your brochure.

    People will always look at a photo first and read the copy second.

    4. Always present your product in light of the problem that it solves. People buy benefits of your product or service for emotional reasons. The bigger the ticket item you are selling the more benefits you need to sell it.

    Each product has its own benefits that address a specific need or problem the customer wants to solve.

    5.  Hire a graphic designer to design your brochure. A designer has more tools for designing a brochure than you would have. The money you pay will be returned in sales.

    Tip: if you hire a graphic designer always get the raw digital design files and store them where you can find them later. You will need them in the future when you get the brochure reprinted and want to make changes.

    Your printer will need the files to make changes.

    6. Create the brochure with the reader’s point of view in mind. Before you sit down and slap together a brochure, spend some time looking at the end-user.

    • Who are you trying to influence with the brochure?
    • Why would they want to buy your product?
    • What is in it for them to have your product?
    • What are the problems your product or service can solve for them?

    In the end, people have an interest in your product based on what they need and want.

    7.  Do not be boring. The easiest way to be boring is to load your brochure up with clichés. Write the copy for your brochure so that it is entertaining and easy to read. Nobody likes to read a textbook.

    Avoid saying things like “conveniently located”, “in business for 50 years” and do not put a photo of your building on the cover of the brochure, unless somehow your building is of some benefit to the reader.

    8. Survey the draft of your brochure by showing it to a few of your customers.

    I said show to your customers, not Sally your bookkeeper or Jim your salesman “because he works with customers and knows”.

    The only person’s point of view that matters is your customer’s:

    • What caught their eye first?
    • What decision about the product or service did they make?
    • Is there anything they did not understand?

    9. Do not use industry terms unless you explain what it is or means. The quickest way to turn off your reader is to present a term they will not understand because they are not in your business.

    Never assume the reader knows. You want the reader to buy your product or service and people do not buy things that they are confused about or do not understand. Present it in plain English without talking down to the reader.

    10. Do not forget the call to action. Ask them to respond. Make it easy for them to respond.

    These are the basics of designing a brochure but not everything you should know. The actuality of designing a brochure has its own rules I have outlined in our other blog articles.

    If you need help designing a brochure for your business please give us a call. We are here to help.

    5 Reasons Why Sending Holiday Cards is Always a Good Idea

    The mood in the country changes between October through December each year. Virtually all the people in the US celebrate the holiday season in one way or the other. People are happy and in a giving mood.

    5 Reasons Why Sending Holiday Cards To Your Customers Is A Good Idea:

    1. My question to you is why would you not want to associate your business with the biggest event of the year. It’s huge and people are happy about it.
    2. Staying in front of your customer and prospective new clients is always a good idea. Sending holiday or Christmas cards is a great way to do this. It’s a PR world and anything you can do to generate goodwill is a good idea for your business. 
    3. Custom Christmas cards help brand your business. In today’s world,  your brand is the most important asset you have for your business, next to your customer database. Sending holiday/Christmas cards builds your brand and reinforces your relationship with your customers, clients, or patients.
    4. Include a coupon inside your holiday card to help boost your sales in the first quarter.  Christmas cards have almost a 100% open rate and are an excellent way to deliver a “gift coupon”. We can send you samples of this if you like.
    5.  Holiday cards let your customers, clients, or patients know that you appreciate their patronage.

    Tips For Saving Money When Sending Out Christmas Cards For Your Business

    It is always less expensive to buy in bulk. The more you buy the lower the cost per piece will be.

    For quantities over 250 we can save you 50% on the cost of postage by mailing your holiday cards out using bulk presort postage.

    Order early. We offer discounts beginning in July for early orders of holiday cards. It helps us manage the “Christmas card rush” that happens around Thanksgiving every year.

    Always include a special gift coupon in your holiday card. The sales generated from doing this pay for the expense of sending the holiday cards out.

    TIP: If you are in a service industry, such as financial advisors or real estate, it is a good idea to put a referral card in with your Christmas card.

    TIP: If you would like to send something out more personal, we can print your card with your customer’s name on the front of the holiday card. Example  “Alan, We Wish You the Happiest of Holidays”. Having the person’s name on the card adds a personal touch to your already personal holiday cards.

    I hope this article gave you some ideas for your business for the upcoming holiday season. If you would like to see samples of holiday/Christmas cards or have a catalog sent to you, please click here.

    8 Steps For A Better Brochure Design For Your Business

    people discuss the purpose of a brochure

    Ok, you’ve decided that your small business needs a brochure but where do you start?

    If you want to create a brochure for your business that is effective the first step is to decide on what the purpose of the brochure will be?

    The purpose of a brochure is the first step because having a clear goal of what you want the brochure to do will guide you through the design process and help you to make those decisions about what to include in it.

    Common Purposes of Brochures:

    • To help close prospects.
    • To promote a specific product.
    • Overall company introduction.
    • To educate prospects about the options they have.
    • Product information/instruction sheet.

    Once you have a purpose for your brochure delineated the rest of the design process will be easier for you.

    Step 2:  Write down what you want to promote in your brochure. Is it a product or a service?

    Step 3: List out the benefits of what you are promoting. For this part of the process, you will need to look at your product or service from the viewpoint of your customer, client, or patient.

    • Why would they want to buy the product or service?
    • What problem does your product or service solve for them?
    • How are you going to make life easier for them?
    • What is in it for them to buy from you?

    Step 4: The headline.

    Your headline should communicate the benefit or solution to a problem in a short and sweet communication.

    Your headline is the most important part of your copy because it is the one thing that will draw the attention of the reader.  To use a fishing analogy, your headline is the bait on your marketing hook.

    Step 5: Main copy.

    Resist the urge to put too much information in the brochure, unless it is a product information sheet used after the sale (even this can be brief).

    When putting together the main body of copy the following will help:

    • Think in terms of concise points. Today we live in a sound bite, bullet point era.
    • Always direct the copy to explain and sell the benefits of owning the product or having the service. It’s ok to have features of a product but always communicate a benefit of that feature. Too many times I see brochures with features and no benefits. NEVER assume the reader will automatically know the benefit of the product or service.
    • Include testimonials or reviews in the brochure.

    Step 6: Use appropriate graphics that support your message. Picture and photos should support your message.  Also, do not put graphics in just for the sake of having graphics. A professional graphic artist can help you find just the right images for your brochure.

    Step 7:  Call to action. This point is neglected or left out entirely on 80% of brochures. The reason most businesses want a brochure is to sell something but they leave out a call to action.

    A call to action is a direct message telling the reader how to respond and why they should respond now.

    10 common mistakes in brochures ebook

    FREE EBOOK

    10 Common Mistakes and Pitfalls Made On Brochures!




      Hire a professional to help you design your brochure. Sure you can do it yourself but you probably lack the technical know-how, the professional design programs, the access to graphics, and the time to actually design the brochure.

      If you have gone through the above exercise you will be able to communicate to the graphic designer the information to get a great-looking brochure.

      We offer graphic design at a low cost if you are having us print your brochure for you.

      4 Steps You Need To Do To Make Postcards for Business Work

      What do you need to make a postcard for your business work? There are 4 basic steps that need to be present in order for a marketing postcard to work but before that, you need to have a basic strategy.

      How To Make Postcards Work
      1. Market Research. Find out who your idea client is.
      2. Think of a Benefit. Why should a prospect purchase from you?
      3. Call To Action. Why should your prospect pick up the phone and call right now?
      4. Consistency. You need to mail to your prospects consistently.

      The overall strategy for your postcard campaign needs to be thought out before you even get to the design step. Too often we see a business owner say, “Okay, time to promote let’s do a postcard” and then throw together a postcard for his business quickly.

      The problem you will run into with the “throw something together quickly” strategy is that you are likely to just throw something together without much thought to it.

      When it comes to any marketing and advertising, a campaign that is thrown together will likely fail.

      The streets are littered with the failed hopes of many business owners who “threw something together” and hoped it would work.

      The first step on the road to being broke is to hope your advertising will work.

      Decide what service or product you want to promote with a postcard?

      Step 1: Who buys this product or service?

      • What characteristics does this group of prospects have?
      • Where do they live?
      • What is their income?
      • Do they have families?
      • Do they need to be creditworthy to buy this product or service?
      • Anything else that differentiates and helps to identify this group of prospects?

      The above information is important for two reasons.

      One: for a targeted mailing list. This is one of the biggest reasons a postcard mailer fails. The postcard is mailed to the wrong people for your business!

      We can get a mailing list that is very refined to reach a specific group of prospects.

      Two: when you design a card it has to appeal to the recipient.  Knowing who the postcard is mailing to will help the designer make the message appeal to the prospect.

      Step 2: What are the benefits of the product you want to promote using postcards?

      Why do people buy the product or service?

      What problem does it solve for the prospect?

      Step 3: Offer or Call to Action.  An offer or call to action is important because your offer is often the hook that pulls the prospect in to do business with you.

      • Before you set the offer or special, research what your competitors are offering.
        • FACT: 98% of the people who have an interest in your postcard and your business will go to your website first to do research, and also to your competitor’s site. If a competitor has a cheaper price the prospect will go to them.
      • If you cannot compete on service, is there anything you can offer that will add value?
        • For example, we were working with an auto repair shop that offers a free car wash with an oil change. The car wash cost them little but was perceived as a value to the prospect.

      Step 4: Consistency. Other than the above points, consistency of mailing is the main reason for a postcard mailer not working.

      There is no such thing as one-and-done marketing. The one mailer to test to see if it works will always fail.

      Every product has a buying cycle. The bigger the ticket item you are selling, the more people will shop and research. The buying cycle goes from:

      1. Prospect notices they might want the product/service.
      2. Prospect wonders where to get it and how much does it cost?
      3. Prospect now really wants it.
      4. Prospect wonders who is best to buy product/service from?
      5. Prospect is ready to buy it.

      Your target market has many prospective clients who are in the various stages of the buying cycle.  Over the course of several months, you will have more people who will come into the market for your product or service.

      Just by mailing your postcard, you are in fact creating prospects. People who before they received your mailer were not even thinking about owning your product or service, or maybe did not need it but today their A/C broke down and now they are looking.

      Incidentally, this is why direct mail is superior to internet marketing because the internet only reaches people who are searching right now. The “searching now “ prospects are being heavily marketed to by much larger competitors.  It is a very competitive space.

      There is a rule in marketing that says 100% of people will buy from a company or individual they know over a company they have never heard of or just heard of. By mailing consistently to a group of prospects you are creating familiarity with your business which means more people will buy from you because they know of you.

      Know that you have the basics down for your mailer. Here is a link to the 10 design tips that get your postcard noticed.

      How To Drive Interested Prospects to Your Business Every Day for Pennies

      No doubt about it, we are living in a digital age. Never has it been easier and faster for consumers to research, shop, and buy.

      I’m not telling you anything you don’t know. But do you know how to maximize technology to generate more sales for your business?

      How To Drive Interested Prospects to Your Business

      So the big question is for my small business owners–is throwing up a website enough technology to generate sales for your business? This is okay and is a good start, but alone is not enough to generate quality leads in this digital era we live in.

      Once upon a time, not too long ago, it use to be that a website was a sort of online brochure or business card that you sort of threw up with a few keywords built-in and that was enough for any small business. This was fine when there was not much traffic on the Internet and your competition was limited.

      Then one day, some guy in silicon valley thought what if we could make a phone smarter?  And boom, the first smartphone came out and people loved them. Then a few years later Wi-Fi was put everywhere. Now it became so easy to go online.

      Today 98% of people will research online before buying a product or service from a company. The bigger the ticket item, the longer they will research and shop.

      You have a website for your business up. So all should be good, right? Wrong.

      First things first, you have to get traffic to your website. Then you have to convert visitors by getting them to fill out a form or download something.

      According to Google, 96% of traffic to the average website leaves without taking further action. (Some websites it is closer to 99.99% of people leave without taking further action.)

      How many leads have you gotten from your website this week, this month, this year?  If the answer is “not many” you are missing some marketing points.

      Point 1: You have to get people to your website. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) helps but it still relies on chance. There is no business in existence today that does not have 100x more competition than it did just 10 years ago. So SEO by itself is not enough.

      Your competition is a lot better organized and has more funding for competing on the Internet.

      So what do you do?  Hire some 20-something year old to run some Google ads or Facebook ads? It’s better than nothing but you will probably spend a lot of money and not get much business, especially if your website is not designed to convert traffic to leads and customers.

      Point 2: The best way today to create traffic and sales is Direct Mail.  Direct mail is the only form of advertising where you can reach 100% of your best prospects with limited competition.

      You might say, I’m not interested, postage is too expensive.

      If you are running Google PPC ads, depending on the industry you are in, you are going to pay anywhere from $2.50 on the low end, to $50 – $60 per click on your ad.  A click does not mean anything unless you get a new customer.

      Unless you know what you are doing you might even have a lot of people clicking on your ad who are not qualified or are looking for something you do not even offer.

      Or on the flip side, you can get a mailing list of the exact people that you want to do business with and the United States Post Office will deliver into their hot little hands a targeted mailer from your business for only about 19 to 29 cents.

      They are going to see your message. They are going to hold your message. Now what they do after this is going to be one of three things:

      ONE: They are going to throw your mailer in the trash because they are not in the market or because your message did not generate interest for what you sell.

      TWO: If your message piques their interest, 98% are going to Google your business, read your reviews and check out your business on the Internet.

      If your website is confusing, difficult to navigate, or not set up to convert the traffic to leads, then you are not going to get a lead. They will go to the next business (your competitor) that pops up on the Google Search when they typed your name into the browser.

      We help small businesses by building websites that convert more visitors to customers. We also have methods we use to identify and follow around prospects who have been on your website after they visit your site. (It is part of our Direct Mail Scout program.)

      THREE: Being so interested and inspired the prospect picks up the phone and calls you. This is usually a very low percentage at first.

      Remember you have piqued their interest. They are not ready to buy or talk to someone. They are researching. How long they research and shop depends on how big the ticket item or commitment is.

      The point I want to make is that if someone is on your website today THEY HAVE SOME SORT OF INTEREST, NEED, OR QUESTION. They are a prospect. You are losing business if you do not have the tools in place to convert that interested person to a bonafide lead.

      Most businesses spend a lot of money marketing but will lose their hottest prospects because they do not have a way to follow up with and market to these hot prospects.

      Direct Mail Scout is a game-changer for a small business. It combines target direct mail, with Google, Facebook, and even Youtube to follow up with your hottest prospects every day – affordably. Direct Mail Scout, most importantly, will also identify prospects who are on your website with no form fill out required.

      If you are tired of wasting money on marketing that does not produce, you should schedule a no-obligation demonstration of the Direct Mail Scout program.

      Your Small Business Website

      What is the best website builder for small businesses? Should you use a website template and do it yourself?

      Should you have your niece build a website? (After all, she is a millennial, and they all pop out of the womb experts in the internet and websites.)

      What about hiring a professional? Oh, wait! That sounds too expensive! How much would it really cost to get a new website designed for my business? Ah, forget it I probably can’t afford it.

      small business website

      So what is the best way to get a website built for your small business?

      If your concern is simply price and getting a website designed for cheap, well there are thousands of options for you.

      What you should be asking is how do you get a website built that will generate new customers and sales for your business.

      10 years ago you could get away with throwing up a cheap website. Not any more.

      98% of your prospects will research and shop online long before they make a purchase.  The bigger the ticket item the longer people will shop.  So having a good website is vital today. Notice I said good, not cheap and there is no such thing as good and cheap.

      Your business’s first contact with a new prospective customer today often will be via your business website.  Most businesses have hundreds of competitors online so having a website that represents you well is very important.

      If you have a home service business like HVAC, plumbing, electrical, landscaping, or anything related to construction, roofing, or building your website is the first impression and your prospects will make a value judgment. In short, you do not want to look like a “chuck with a truck”. Even if you started your business last week your website needs to convey professionalism and communicate that your company is the “safe & right decision” for your potential customer to make.

       Sorry, that’s just the way it is.

      Things You Have To Have On Your Small Business Website

      • Obviously, your website has to look aesthetically pleasing. Things like font choice, color balance, eye trail, and correct graphic elements combined that sell your story and business.
      • Your website has to be easy to navigate. This is more difficult than you think, as most cookie-cutter sites are not set up for this. If you do not know how to program and change the template your website will fail.
      • Your website has to be optimized so you show up on searches. 72% of people do not get past the first page of a Google search. Are you aware of how and what people are searching for when it comes to your business?
      • It has to have a flow pattern that guides people through the visit.
      • Do you know what causes people to hit the close button leaving your website to go to a competitor’s website?
      • Do you know what the tools are to help convert visitors to leads?
      • Do you know how to drive traffic to your website?

      Having a poorly designed small business website today could cost your business hundreds of thousands in lost opportunities and sales.

      So the money you are saving by “doing it yourself” is not saving you money and is, in fact, shackling your company sales and growth and potentially losing you money.

      So how much should you expect to spend when having a professional design a website for you?

      The answer to that question is, it depends on what you need.

      For a basic business website, you should expect to spend anywhere between $2000 to $3000 (90% of businesses fall into the basic website category). For a website that is more advanced, it will range between $6000 to $20,000 in cost to build.  (Advanced websites get into building design and function from the ground up–a lot of custom programming, secure customer login portals, shopping carts, copywriting, user testing, and advanced SEO).

      It depends on your business and what you need.

      The money you spend on a website will be well worth it, as it will generate returns that far exceed the cost of building it.