Business from home

9 Low Cost/No Cost Marketing Tips & Techniques
Date: Saturday, May 13 @ 19:41:20
Topic Business Promotion Tips



Do you need to get more clients? Are you trying to get your first client?
Is your marketing budget equivalent to the cost of a Happy Meal? The
following tips and techniques are not by any means hidden secrets, but
they are some of the most overlooked ways to market a small business
today.


9 Low Cost/No Cost Marketing Tips & Techniques





Copyright 2006 Sandra P. Martini


Do you need to get more clients?  Are you trying to get
your first client?  Is your marketing budget equivalent to
the cost of a Happy Meal?   The following tips and
techniques are not by any means hidden secrets, but they
are some of the most overlooked ways to market a small
business today.

1.  Know your target audience.

As silly as it sounds, many small business owners kick off
a marketing campaign without regard to whom they want to
target.  If you send out a coupon for NASCAR tickets to the
first 1,000 people in the phone book, some will undoubtedly
be thrilled and will do what’s necessary to earn the
tickets  (akin to dropping 1,000 mailers from an airplane
-- some will hit the target).  But just imagine the
response rate if you sent out the same 1,000 NASCAR ticket
coupons to o­nly those people who attended a NASCAR event in
the last year.   You’ve gone from wildly shooting to
steadily aiming your campaign, thus increasing your
response rate and decreasing your cost per customer.

2.  Publish an e-zine (or newsletter).

Publishing an e-zine or print newsletter (even as short as
a page) is a great way to keep in touch with your customers
and clients.  You can produce o­ne o­nline using a program
such as Constant Contact for little to no money and can
even set your e-zines up in advance using
easy-to-understand templates.

3.  Have a website and keep it updated.

All businesses, no matter your size or field, need a
website these days.  You can get a domain name for as
little as $2.95/year and, using templates, have a basic
design done in a few hours.  o­nce your customers, clients,
and potential customers and clients have visited your
website, they will find fresh, quality content in the form
of new e-zines, articles, blog posts and tips.  This will
keep them, and the search engine spiders, coming back for
more.

4.  Opportunity is calling.

While not usually viewed as a marketing technique,
answering the phone and follow-up is critical in this day
and age of limited valuable time and impersonal service.
Have you ever called someone o­nly to not get a call-back or
sent an email and waited days for a response? More clients
and prospects become lost revenue these days due to
inadequate, or non-existent follow-up.   If you receive a
phone call from a prospective client or from an existing
client, call him back as soon as possible or, better yet,
immediately!

5.  Get involved o­nline.

Find out where your target audience hangs out and
participate in those o­nline discussion groups and forums.
Yahoo Groups is a great place to find a wide variety of
discussion groups.  Several business owners also belong to
Ryze -- an o­nline networking forum. By consistently
offering your help to others, you will position yourself as
an expert that others will turn to when the time is right
for them.

6.  Get involved offline.

Getting involved with local organizations can help to build
your reputation as a “doer”, a “go getter” or just a really
dependable individual (all things which will help your
business). Just remember that you are representing your
business in everything you do and act accordingly.

7.  Word of Mouth/Referrals.

We’ve all heard the saying that a happy customer tells
somewhere between 1 and 3 people about her experience while
an unhappy customer tells up to 12 people about hers.  Keep
your customers happy,   ask for feedback as to what you
could do better, and o­nce you know they’re happy, then ask
for a referral.  People generally are willing to help those
they like.

8.  Use postcards.

Whether you are an o­nline-only business, a brick & mortar
establishment or a hybrid, you can effectively use
postcards to market your business.  Postcards are easy to
do, inexpensive to mail and have a high readership.  Many
people associate postcards with personal notes from friends
and family and don’t even think before they turn it over to
read the message.   With this method, you have already
gotten into the hands of many people that wouldn't take the
time to open junk mail.

9.  Have others do it for you or with you.

Never underestimate the power of cooperation and reciprocal
agreements.  Is there a vendor that has a related, but not
directly competitive, target audience to yours?  If so,
form a strategic alliance where you recommend his
products/services and he recommends yours.  For example, a
movie theater and a restaurant could share customer
information and play off each other for promotions.

While many of the above tips and techniques will arouse the
“DUH” response, it’s constantly surprising to me how many
businesses – small and large – overlook these basic items
in their day-to-day marketing and operations.


About the Author:

Online Business Manager & Entrepreneur, Sandra Martini,
publishes the 'Effective Entrepreneur' as a free weekly
e-zine.  She also coaches small business owners to more
efficiently manage their businesses while increasing
profits and having fun. Sandra's coaching programs are
available via teleconferencing, emails and telephone calls.
For more information or to sign-up for 'Effective
Entrepreneur', visit
http://www.thebostonvirtualsolution.com .
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