Marketing. I can’t stress enough how important effective marketing is. Sure your website is a great marketing tool, but you also have to market your website. It sounds simple, but if nobody knows that you have this incredible website (built by Design Dish, of course , then nobody will visit and your site will ultimately fail, and nobody wants that.
So how do you market your site? First, let’s start at your letterhead, business cards and other items that are already currently in use by your company. Place your website address on every article you send out, anything that you know your customers will read. If you are in the bar business, consider getting custom coasters with your logo and web address on them, perhaps matchbooks with your web address on them. You can never ever ever market yourself enough, this means going through out all mediums in the advertising field and ultimately getting the name of your company out. So business cards, flyers, letterhead, any promotional material should absolutely have your web address on them. There is still something very profound about a firm handshake and a quality business card being passed in a meeting that declares your professionalism, security and ineptitude to handle the tasks set before you, but your job doesn’t end there.
On top of that, you should also look into the various social networking sites that are frequented daily by your much desired demographic. This means facebook, twitter, linkedin, orkut, myspace, and the many, many other social outlets that are out there and available to you, and best of all free! The best things about these sites is that it gives you a way to actively keep contact with your existing customers while also allowing you the opportunity to really branch out and touch base with potential new clients. As the old saying goes, a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush, and being constantly accessible is not only a necessity, but it’s remarkably easy. Just remember these important steps:
- Don’t be intrusive! The last thing that a customer wants is to be constantly barraged by a different special offer every 15 minutes. The important thing here is to keep that human touch that we all so easily forget about in this world of computers, cell phones, ipads and bluetooth. The same things that we embrace can also be our crippling blow if used inappropriately.
- Post specials, bargains, clearances, etc. regularly (once daily, twice weekly) keeping it clean, well thought and to the point. If your customers are interested in what you are saying, they will look further into it.
- Avoid spamming. This doesn’t mean not to look into newsletter or email marketing campaigns, this means to keep your customer’s inbox clean. Nobody wants their special offer to be deleted before it’s read, and if you send your clutter your client’s inbox, chances are you’re going to piss some people off. Keep emails to a regular schedule and be sure to provide opt-out links in the rare case one of your clients would like to unsubscribe.
- Be proactive. Anticipate the needs of your customer. If you own an auto center and your customer is overdue for an oil change, email a coupon, a special or just an invitation letting them know that you appreciate their business. A little thoughtfulness can go a very long way and in today’s financial climate, customer retention is key.