Do you ever feel like your brand marketing is getting a little stagnant and you need something new to push it forward and freshen things up? Feel like you’re relying on the same social media strategy or business development strategy over and over again that lacks a little innovation and creativity? If that sounds like you, then trying one of these five tools could be the little boost you need. They’re quick, easy, simple and low cost (yay!), and once they’re set up then you let them do the hard work for you. All you need is one hour, a dose of creativity (wine helps for that) and some focus.
Setting up an automated email campaign is valuable for businesses of any kind. When an automation is established, the system does it for you. Emails are sent out to the right people at the right time to keep them engaged and to grow your business. These emails work through triggers. You set a trigger (last booking date, last email open date, last purchase date, last website visit date) and then you craft the email to them. Keep it simple, don’t overcomplicate things and stick to an absolute maximum of one automated email per week… You don’t want them to unsubscribe. Most email platforms like Mailchimp provide automation for free on the basic subscription level so it’s a no-cost tool any business can use.
For service based businesses, you can set up an email that runs one month after the client’s last booking date and reminds them it is time for another service. For product based businesses, you can set up an email that runs two weeks after someone has made a purchase and suggest complimentary products to them. You can also run an automated abandoned cart email. Think about creative ways you can use automation to engage with your market.
Do you encourage people to tell their friends about your business? You should. A couple of years ago - around 2016 - a Nielsen report revealed that 84% of consumers trust recommendations from family, friends and colleagues over any other type of recommendation or lead. On the business side of things, 91% of businesses are influenced by word of mouth advertising when making a purchasing decision. That goes to show that referrals are like pre-qualified leads that are highly likely to turn into customers.
Implementing a referral program can be done in different ways. Customers could forward an email onto a friend who then brings it in. You could give them a unique discount code that’s linked to a “besties who save together, stay together” campaign. You could have a simple, physical card that they pass onto friends and they bring it into the business. You could simply ask for a name when they book! There are many ways to do it that are simple or complex – whatever you make of them really. Ensure that both parties (the new client and the existing client) get a kick back whether it’s a discount, a cheaper price on bundles or something similar. But when you choose a format for referrals, stick to it. It might take some time to get off the ground so give it a real go, plan it out carefully and make sure you promote it so people get on board with it!
Deep Discounts for Customers
You know what one of the best feelings in the world is? Feeling special. So how often do you actually go out of your way to make your customers feel extra special? It’s probably not enough. Things like a handwritten note can brighten their day, remembering their birthday or a special occasion like a work anniversary can go a long way. Or, giving them a little gift like a really significant discount on top of a note or remembering a special day can really solidify that feeling of being special and letting them know that you care. If you are good to your customers like this, they will build loyalty. Loyalty to you and to your brand and loyalty as a customer so they keep coming back for more.
Take note of their Birthdays or work anniversaries and get in touch with them when they come up. You could automate an email to them too (if you’re using idea number one). Structure your customer discounts and touches so they are just a stock standard part of your marketing schedule and things will look after themselves!
Everyone loves free stuff. It is honestly that simple. What can you create or provide to them as an add on to their purchase or as an incentive to join an email list? Think of something that is complimentary to your business, but also fulfils their needs. If it doesn’t solve a problem they have or fulfil a need they have, it’s not worth the effort. But if you can find something that can add value to their own business or to their own every-day life, then you’re hitting the mark.
Accounting or Bookkeeping – A list of key accounting dates for the year ahead.
Beauty Salon or Spa – A cheat sheet of product ingredients to look for or avoid.
Beauty products – A skin care regime template.
Fashion or styling – A look book of the biggest trends this season or a list of fashion essentials.
Legals – If you’re in family law, a document about safeguarding your kids during tough times. If you’re in commercial law, a quick guide to copyright law.
Travel business - A fail-proof packing list.
See what I mean? Something that’s practical, useful and adds value to your ideal customer’s day.
This is an unusual marketing tool because most people probably don’t think it really fits under ‘marketing’. But it does. When you run a feedback program you are doing a couple of things. Firstly, you are having another ‘touch’ point of communication with your customers and staying front of mind. Secondly, you are asking for their opinions and making them feel special. And thirdly, you are collecting really valuable information about your own business that can help it improve and better provide services or products that meet your customer’s needs.
You can collect feedback digitally using something as simple as Google Forms and an email campaign (this can be automated, too!) and this way your data will can be raw or Google Forms will collate it into graphs and charts so tracking your progress is easy.
So, think about it. Are you already doing these five things? Or is it time to give one a go and see what kind of results that brings in? Keeping your marketing fresh is critical so don’t be afraid to try new things, test them out and when you know what works, keep doing it. But whatever you do, make sure it’s to a really high standard so you always stand out from the crowd!