Small Business Tips: Marketing

Small Business Tips: Marketing

Last week we discussed your options of free marketing with social media.  We hope you found these tips useful.  This week will discuss some other options for marketing your small business at reasonable costs.

As with any good marketing strategy you must use a variety of methods to promote your small business.  Social media, print, email marketing, industry trade shows, networking meetings are just a few.  Using a combination of these will help reach your target audience better.

Today we will discuss Email Marketing, Networking Meetings and Print Media.  For those of you who are new to marketing your own businesses, these marketing methods we will discuss are tried and true and have always been helpful when used in combination with other marketing efforts.

Email Marketing still is one of the easiest ways to reach your current customers and build new customers. There are several options when choosing an email marketing software including, Mail Chimp, Constant Contact, Emma Mail and AWeber to name a few.  Each software has a monthly subscription fee ranging from $15 to $150 depending on your subscriber size.  All of these software’s allow you to build a customer list, organize your customers list by category, hundreds of templates to choose from, and many include tracking features.  If you have a retail establishment, the easiest way to build this email list is to have a customer sign in book.  At the end of each week, you can add in your new customers to your email list and send out a quick follow-up email, thanking them for shopping with you. Use this email marketing as another way to reach your customers with special offers, educational information about your industry, and holiday promotions. You can also collect emails on your website using special forms.  We will discuss websites in a future segment.

Next we will discuss Networking Meetings.  This is a great way to make new connections through local meetings held in your area.  Also another way to build your email contact list.  There are local meetings around your area related to your industry.  A couple places to find out about meetings would be through Meetup and your Local Chamber of Commerce.  Both are great resources and should be utilized to the best of your ability. Both of these mentioned have weekly and monthly meetings you can attend, usually with a membership fee.  The small cost associated with both is well worth the connections you will make. You have a chance at these meetings to introduce yourself/business, so be sure to have a prepared “elevator  pitch”.  You will also have the opportunity to swap business cards with the other members at these meetings, giving you more contacts to add to your email marketing list. Check out what meetings are local to you and go to a few to see which meetings will suit you and your business best.

Lastly we come to traditional Print Media. It’s a tried and true method that does continue to work today, but not solely as we once may have used it.  With a good marketing strategy, print media can still be beneficial to your marketing plan.  Many times you will find advertising in your local newspapers will benefit you more than the larger newspapers.  As online is now the driving force, consider an online newspaper as an option, such as Patch.com.  There are thousands of readers who follow these online newspapers.  This is another avenue to reach a new audience. In combination with your other marketing efforts, this too can help you build your presence online and in your community.  Keep in mind the associated cost with print and online advertising and be sure you spend your money wisely.

We hope these marketing tips will help you further increase your marketing skills and help you continue building your small business.  Next week we will discuss trade shows and branding through promotional items. Be sure to stop back and check out all our other great blogs here too.

Penny Hanley & Howley Insurance

Protecting YOU is our Job

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