Rowan County Chamber of Commerce
Marketing Tool Kit
'NEVER STOP MARKETING EVEN IF YOU ARE BUSY'
Create Promos That Will Rock Your Biz--Craft Enticing Offers
There are typically 3 kinds of sales promotions that you can offer:
Discounts: This is the most commonly seen type of promotion. According to the PMA (Promotion Marketing Association), over 76% of the population uses coupons or promo codes, but you can also insert discounts under the shape of a loyalty program. The rebate can lower the barrier to entry that may have prevented potential customers from purchasing from you earlier.
Contests: Setting up an exciting contest is a great way to generate buzz and awareness around your company. However, make sure to keep the prize related to your brand. Indeed, giving away free iPads might get you a high conversion rate at first, but the quality of customers might not be what you were hoping for, (i.e., they may have purchased or signed up just to get their iPad), not necessarily out of interest in your company, producing a high churn rate in the mid- to long-term.
Giving away free samples may not seem like a cost-effective way to generate profit, but sometimes you need to give some in order to win a lot. When Seth Godin first released his book “The Idea Virus,” he gave it away for free as an e-book. In less than 30 days, 400,000 copies were downloaded, and the buzz created pushed people to buy the hard copy, making it crack the Amazon top 5 best-seller list.
Take Risks: Just as we suggested you stretch your goals a little, don’t be afraid to push the envelope when crafting your offer. Remember, you need to give your audience a stronger incentive than usual in order to generate profit in the short time frame that you set, but the rewards, if handled correctly, might be well worth your while.
Your biggest marketing asset are happy employees...
15 Tips for Creating a Happier Work Environment in a Down Economy!
Is the current economy getting you down? Can’t give or receive pay raises this year? Looking for ways to motivate you and your employees without digging too deep into your firm’s budget? Here are some easy and inexpensive tips to consider for your firm:
Offer Good Benefits or at least better options: No doubt, this tip isn’t a big surprise. Most human resource experts agree that good benefits help keep employees happy and on the job. Have you spoken to your health insurance agent to see if there is a better plan in price and benefits? The down economy can lead to undue stress, anxiety and overeating. Show you care about your employees’ health and well-being by providing discounts on health club memberships. Many health clubs offer special discounts for groups, so talk to some of your local businesses to see if they’ll help. Give your employees a little extra time over lunch to work out to refresh them for the afternoon. A little workout can go a long way toward stimulating more work! Another idea is to provide insurance allowances if you cannot afford insurance for your employees.
Be Flexible (with hours and dress): Employees have lives outside of the work environment—and if they have children they often need time away if they’re sick or to take them to appointments or sporting activities. Give them opportunities to work flexible hours or work from home (telecommute) on days when they need extra personal time. Also consider being more flexible with your firm’s dress policies. Allow them to dress more comfortable.
Reward with Special Time Off- An employee just landed a new client, made an important presentation, or was applauded for a proposal—whatever the accomplishment, consider giving your employee the afternoon off. Most employees come back refreshed and ready to work even harder! And it gives a strong message to your other employees that hard work pays off!
Offer Training Programs/Make them a Mentor- There are a lot of free training opportunities in the community to help your employee grow. Encourage them to learn by webinar, online courses, seminars, etc. If you set up an annual training plan, it will invigorate your employees. Give current employees the responsibility to mentor a new employee. It shows that you trust and respect them for their work habits. And if you can’t give a promotion, additional responsibilities like this can be pitched as a way to earn one when one is available. For new employees, make sure you have a good training program so they can learn all the requirements of their position. This will help them be more effective and happier with their job. Also, assign them to mentor. It immediately encourages teamwork, which also leads to a happier environment.
Be Respectful and Offer Praise- Let’s face it, everyone likes to hear they’re doing a good job. Anytime you can give an employee positive feedback, especially in front of others, you earn respect from your employees. In addition, the more you respect your employees by talking to them about issues or concerns in person and treating them as human beings, you’ll further earn additional respect from them. Putdowns, yelling or other negative feedback in front of others only promotes an unhealthy environment.
Add Growth Opportunities- You don’t want your firm to appear as if it’s a dead end job. Once employees see growth opportunities, they won’t leave for another job so quickly. This is the easiest way to reward a hard-working employee. And the opportunities don’t necessarily have to be permanent promotions. They can be creative titles—like Chief Executive of Innovation, Organizing King, etc. Titles like these give inspiration and motivate other employees to want to hold special titles too.
Hold Special Events and Parties- Employees get bogged down in work, work and more work. Every once in a while go bowling or meet after hours for dinner. A little fun goes a long way toward building teamwork, office friendships and a happier work environment. Inviting your staff to your home also means that you are making them a part of your family and a team.
Include Their Family- Employees appreciate an employer who involves their family—it gives the impression that you care about their family life too. Overall, a happy home life leads to a happy employee and vice versa.
Feed Them- What’s the cliche—the way to a man’s (or woman’s heart) is through his/her stomach? Once a week or once a month, bring in special treats—some healthy, like fruit and vegetable dips, chocolate chip cookies or other sweets. Employees with happier stomachs tend to be happier with their work!
Get Their Input- Ask your employees if they’ve heard of unique things other companies are doing or if they have any suggestions for improving the work environment. Most people like to give their suggestions and provide opinions. And if one of their ideas is implemented, it will send a message that their input counts.
Finally, whoever said “work is work” or “work isn’t fun” didn’t know how to motivate and keep their good employees. Work CAN be enjoyable, fun and productive at the same time. It’s all what you make of it. And if you make the effort to make it better for your employees, your employees will see that and appreciate it even more. In the end this will result in more motivated, happier and productive employees.
TRUE OR FALSE? YOUR REPUTATION IS ONLINE...
You can not see what people are saying about your business online. The social system is too big.
False: you can type in keywords to see if people are tweeting about you or your business
Monitoring your social media presence is incredibly important
You don't need a whole team devoted to social media monitoring - with these free tips, even one single person can keep an eye on your social media presence. Cover these 5 steps over a cup of coffee and you'll build social media into a healthy daily inbound marketing routine!
2) Scan Google Alerts ( 1.5 minutes ): Check Google Alerts for your company name, products, executives or brand terms. To set this up, enter your search terms in a Google Alert and select to receive updates as they happen or once daily. Now, when people blog about your products, an alert will be sent to your inbox. You can read the articles and respond right away!
3) Check Facebook stats ( 1 minute ): Visit your Company Page's Facebook Insights. This can be found under the page's main photo if you are an admin for your page. Scan your active users and interaction stats. Check out your wall posts or new discussions if you have them enabled for your page.
4) Answer Industry-related LinkedIn questions ( 3 minutes ): Search for questions on LinkedIn that you or members of your company can answer. You can set up an RSS feed for specific question categories to go to your Google Reader as well. When you find a relevant question, respond and include a link to your website or a relevant blog post that might be helpful to your audience.
5) Use Google Reader to check Flickr, Digg and others ( 2.5 minutes ): Also set up RSS feeds for searches on your company name and industry terms in other social media sites. Similar to monitoring LinkedIn and Twitter, your Reader will serve as a great place to centralize your other searches to
Email Marketing Tips
· Does the content matter to the audience?
· Does the content offer value, does it educate or solve an affliction?
· It must be a benefit to the customer.
· Did you include contact information including your website links?
· Does it match your other marketing pieces? Logo, colors, printed colors for consistency?
· Did you interact the information on your website and all social media?
Build your e-list at every opportunity you have. If you have a retail location, add a point-of-sale sign-up form. At conferences or events, bring a paper sign-up form or have a laptop with a sign-up form set up and available for interested parties.
Your email should be sent as plain text or as an HTML message- Almost all marketers today send in a format called Multi-Part MIME. Multi-part MIME is a method by which one can send both an HTML message and a text message within the same document. When using Multi-Part MIME, you simply create your regular newsletter, announcement, or promotion as an HTML message and then create a separate text version. Then, when your message is sent, all the persons who can see HTML, will see your regular HTML message, and the 5% or so that cannot will receive the text version of the newsletter. You can create your text message one of two ways. The first option is to recreate the message in the text-only section by copying and pasting the text from the HTML message. If you choose this method, be sure to type out the URLs of each link).
( Do not use the Rowan County Chamber of Commerce name nor say Chamber Member in your advertising)
E-mail Blast instructions from your PC:
The CAN-SPAM Act of 2003 (Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing Act) establishes requirements for those who send commercial email, spells out penalties for spammers and companies whose products are advertised in spam if they violate the law, and gives consumers the right to ask e-mailers to stop spamming them. Spam law, which became effective January 1, 2004, covers email whose primary purpose is advertising or promoting a commercial product or service, including content on a Web site. Each violation could cost fines of $16,000 each.
Go to the excel file and left click the email column to highlight it, hold it down and drag to highlight. At the top, go to edit and press copy. You will copy the column. Delete the word 'email or con_email.' Each email should put in a semicolon or comma when you do this. Outlook should do this automatically. If your system doesn't, you may have to add a semi-colon after each email address.
Go to your new mail icon and hit it for a blank page. Use the body of the email for your message or ad (copy & paste if needed.) Make sure you view the email as a webpage and do a test to someone outside your office before you press send to ensure proper layout.
Your subject line must be clear information and not be deceptive (more subject line tips in this marketing tool kit). In the body of your email, your top header information must be honest and clear (not deceptive – false advertising.)
At your new mail To: one email address
Click on CC to get it to open BCC (Blind copy)
BCC : paste rest of emails (for a small server/pc- only 50 emails work at a time) Check to see if your server can handle 50, then 100 to see it’s capabilities first.
Make sure you have not sent emails to someone that has opted-out on you before.
Don’t forget your opt out message with a valid return email address!
A new e-list should be requested each month. You should keep track of the emails that do not wish to receive additional emails due to spam law.
If you wish to use a vendor that can manage your emails- These companies can save you time (for a small fee and some are free!)
Mailchimp-www.mailchimp.com (free 1200 emails per month)
http://www.verticalresponse.com/ (free trial, no credit card needed, free 100 emails)
Why? They will manage your opt-out messages. They will also not tie up your server. Their Google analytics will give you email open rate..
Before your email will be read, it has to be opened, and what your supporters see at a glance in the “from” field and the subject line will determine whether they’ll glance at what’s inside.
Five tips for writing the best possible subject lines for your email newsletter.
1. Describe the Candy, Not the Wrapper
Tell us what goodies are inside this email, not about the packaging. In other words, don’t put “Go Green Association Newsletter, Volume 5, Issue 7″ in your subject line. Instead, tell us what’s in this edition of the newsletter, such as “How to Live in Harmony with Backyard Wildlife.”
Do not use- “Agency Schedules Series of Parenting Workshops.” What we really want is the candy: “How to Discipline Your Child, Pack Healthy Lunches.” Even if you have multiple topics in your newsletter, experiment with subject lines that emphasize only one or two topics.
Always change your email subject line from edition to edition, too. “Simple Tips to Save Money and the Planet” may be a good subject line for one newsletter, but don’t use it over and over. Instead, provide that consistency by using the same name/organization in the “from” field for each edition.
2. Emphasize the Personal Value of Your Content
It’s the old “what’s in it for me?” question. Why should I take precious time out of my busy day to read your email? I will, if you are providing information I want, need, or am curious about, or if reading your email will help me do something faster, cheaper, easier or otherwise make my life more pleasant, enjoyable, or meaningful.
Subject lines that make readers think “This is useful” or “This is timely” or “This is about me” will always work. For example, an environmental group might send out a message with this subject: “States Challenge Federal Drinking Water Regulations in Court.” This may be an important public policy issue, but the subject line doesn’t grab me. This, on the other hand, would: “Is Slightly Dirtier Drinking Water OK with You?”
One study says the first two words of your subject line should convey that personal value. Questions can also make great subject lines, because they imply that you’ll be answering that question and giving me information I want to know.
3. Don’t Tell People What to Do
Some research shows that telling people what to do in the subject line itself can hurt your open rates. This is particularly true when asking people to “help” or “donate” or “register.” Specific calls to action are great within the body of the email, but lean toward the “personal value” words for the subject line. For example, “Where to Dance All Night with Your Best Friends” will work better than “Register for Our All-Night Dance-a-thon Fundraiser.”
4. Keep It Short
You can play with subject line length and see what works for you, but do try to keep it under 8-10 words.
5. Piggyback on Hot Topics and Brand Names
Think about what’s hot in the news right now. What products and services are people talking about now? How can you relate your work back to big brand names?
The Humane Society of the United States uses this tactic often, as they did with a December 2, 2008 email subject line: “Will Obama create an animal-friendly administration?” Obama is a huge hot topic (and a hot “brand” too) - and the question format is especially intriguing. The body of the email urges supporters to write President-Elect Obama about his picks for Secretary of the Interior and Secretary of Agriculture, both of which oversee federal regulations affecting animals.
What is an accurate delivery rate? according to Wiki- 56% of emails are delivered, 28% are rejected and 8% are filtered through spam filters. Email newsletters have a lower 36% open rate. Half of internet users check every day. The average open rate sent to subscribed emails is 25%
Why did my logo or photo disappear?
There are many reasons an 'X' may be displayed in an email instead of a photo or log.
normally a security setting on your computer is not set APPROPRIATELY.
· The Show Pictures check box is not selected on the Advanced tab of the Internet Options dialog box in Internet Explorer.
· If you use Internet Explorer 8, try Compatibility View. To do this, start Internet Explorer 8, click Compatibility View Settings on the Tools menu, and then add the Web site that you want to view by using Compatibility View.
· If you still cannot fix the problem, go to HELP while on the internet and type in 'Cannot see photos.'
Why you should sell your products and services online…
Promote Your Business with News- Press Releases
Stay in the public’s eye. Repetition is the key to visibility. A rule-of-thumb is that it takes at least ten impressions before a consumer associates your product or service with your business name.
When your business accomplishes something that is newsworthy or you need event exposure, write a press release and send it to local business reporters. Press Releases stimulate the reader to learn more about you, drives a thought that identifies the people mentioned as a leader of the idea/topic and brands the company as a leader in the market..
STEP 1: Research: Make sure you get a Wednesday or Sunday Salisbury Post paper or other papers to see what’s already in so your business can “stand out”.
Salisbury Post press releases are published in the “Business Round-Up” which runs Wed & Sun.
You can promote a new business, major renovation, moving, job promotion, award recognition, certifications, submit employee’s photo (PDF file), mergers, new employee info, and anything pertaining to the local business community.
The Salisbury Post will contact you if they want to pursue a story for the business section.
STEP 2: Write the press release
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
These words should appear in the upper left-hand margin with all letters capitalized. Always double-spaced.
Headline and Layout
This should be a sentence that gives the essence of what the press release is about. Articles, prepositions, conjunctions of three letter words or less and should be lowercased. One page is recommended. Not available for new product or service. Sponsors for an event should be recognized in the first sentence.
This should be the city your press release is issued from and the date you are mailing your release.
A strong introductory paragraph should grasp the reader's attention and should contain the information most relevant to your message such as the Five W's (who, what, when, where, why). This paragraph should summarize the press release and include a hook to get your audience interested in reading more.
The main body of your press release is where your message should fully develop. Many companies choose to use a strategy called the inverted pyramid, which is written with the most important information and quotes first. Include testimonials for better impact.
Your press release should end with a short paragraph that describes your company, products, service and a short company history. If you are filing a joint press release, include a boilerplate for both companies.
Step 3: Proof your press release and get graded for FREE- http://www.pressreleasegrader.com evaluates your press release and provides a marketing effectiveness score. Helps you get the most of your investment in press releases by ensuring that you optimize for both people and search engines.
Step 4: Send press release:
Salisbury Post email: email@example.com and include contact information and daytime phone number. Additional emails next page.
Step 5: Post on your website:
Search engines will locate you through keywords and phrases. Keep a collection of press releases on your website for public access.
_______________Press Release Layout
For Immediate Release:
For more information please contact:
[press release text]
Email list for Press Releases
(some email programs may need a comma or semicolon between each email address)