In This Economy, Business Owners Often Have Trouble Deciding Where to Spend Their Limited Marketing Budget.
5 Expenditures Designed Specifically to Bring Substantial Revenue Into Your Business
As business owners, we always like to think that every dollar we spend on our business will somehow come back to us multiplied many times in the form of revenue and profits. But lately, I’ve talked to many business owners who don’t really know where to spend in this difficult economy. Or worse, they’re spending money on marketing schemes or website design or training programs that may not return any substantial income in the short or long term. Spending money wisely is even more important today. Take a typical $5,000 expenditure, for example. Back in 2007, a business owner might have spent $5,000 on an executive coaching program… flash video content for their website… traveling to an industry seminar… or something else. But what if TODAY you have just $5,000 to spend — and you know it must be put to work substantially increasing your company’s monthly cash-flow. What should you spend it on? Here are some proven strategies from my own client work:
Strategy #1: Build an Internet Selling System that will generate new customers and new leads for your salespeople to talk to. Most small businesses have a brochure-style website. In other words, it’s filled with copy that’s all about the company, what they do, who they are, maybe a page with biographies of their key staff, even a picture of their offices or storefront. The website is not designed to solve visitors’ problems, compel them to call or walk into the business, or convince them to identify themselves as a prospective customer for future marketing.
But what if you had a true marketing-style website that attracted visitors (through Google and other search engines) with compelling copy aimed specifically at visitors and their problems? What if you offered solutions, featured testimonials of others who have benefited… and even gave away a free digitally downloadable report or other resource that would induce visitors to opt-in with their email address for future marketing? What if that website was not only designed to sell an entry-level product or service — but was also pre-programmed to send follow-up marketing emails to those website visitors who failed to buy on their first visit? That would be a much better investment than spending $5,000 on beautiful graphics or videos or other gimmicks. In fact, it would guarantee that you’d generate leads for future marketing purposes — something that could catapult you ahead of your competitors… even if you have a local bricks-and-mortar business. Most of my clients are excited by the idea of fundamentally changing the role their website plays in the business. But the #1 question I get after explaining the process is, “Great! Who can put that website together for me?“
Well, as a matter of fact… We can. For $5,000, my own web team will build a lead-generation website for you, link it to the Internet’s most popular shopping cart service, program your autoresponders, set up your affiliate management system, and program delivery of an entry-level product (or service voucher). Simply provide us with the copy we need (we’ll even give you the checklist of the 13 items required), and within 6 weeks your Internet system will be up and running — and ready to generate income and sales leads for you. (See details below for scheduling a call with me about this unique service.) Of course, once your Internet Selling System is launched, it makes sense to pursue getting onto Page One of Google and driving qualified traffic to your site. For that service, we’ve worked with (and you should, too) one of Inc. Magazine’s Fastest Growing Companies — Increase Visibility, the industry leader in search-engine optimization and search marketing. They’ll even tune-up your current website to attract hundreds of prospective new customers you never reached before. Click here for information… they’ll be happy to help you.
Strategy #2: Mail a sales letter that sells an expensive consulting package or other service. Most businesses and consultants know exactly what products and services they would have to sell in order to generate $5,000 in revenue for the company. Well, what if you could spend $5,000 on a professionally written sales letter — mail it for a few hundred dollars more — then sell many, many packages worth $5,000… or more? That would be a superb investment since just one sale might more than re-pay the cost of copywriting and mailing — plus the mailing would likely generate other paying clients AND generate prospects that could be sold something later, too. When I write sales letters for my top clients (something I still do) the cost is surprisingly low when compared with the return they produce. In fact, a recent sales letter I wrote for Jack Canfield generated $300,000 in revenue from just 20 new clients. And since I’ve written copy for many of the top authors and entrepreneurs for nearly two decades, a $5,000 sales letter is not only a snap to write — it’s faster and cheaper than other writers out there who charge $12,000 to $15,000 for a standard boilerplate-style letter. That sales letter I wrote for Jack, by the way, took me four hours to complete, yet it still filled all 20 of Jack’s new client spots in 12 days and generated so many leads, he had to assign TWO salespeople to handle the call volume. A sales letter like that would be $5,000 well spent.
Strategy #3: Buy 60 days’ worth of a professional salesperson who can personally call your past clients and customers. If you paid a top sales professional a $2,500-per-month draw against a small commission on everything they sell, that salesperson could probably contact 50-80 customers per week to resell them a product or service, upgrade their previous purchase, renew a maintenance contract or otherwise get them to spend more money with your firm. Let’s do the math. If your products and services sell for hundreds of dollars (or thousands), then $5,000 spent contacting past buyers with a customized offer just for them could generate substantial revenue depending on the sales pro’s close rate. What kinds of offers do past customers respond to?
- Renewal of services or additional supplies
- Unique pricing
- Special bonuses not offered to other segments of your list
- Special packaging or bundles
- Special financing or terms
- Advance selection from one-of-a-kind items
Strategy #4: Invest in a complete campaign that endorsers can use to recommend your business to their own customers. I talk to a lot of business owners who know potential endorsers with large lists of customers. Often times, these other business owners are happy to refer business — but they have no idea how to recommend you… what to say… whether to use email, telephone or postal mail…or what kind of offer would be appealing. They will typically wait for you to guide them — and that’s where most referral and endorsement relationships break down. The company asking for referrals (you) simply doesn’t have the marketing pieces and other tools to give the referring party (them). But what if you spent your $5,000 on having a complete referral package written for you? I’ve written countless dozens of these campaigns including an endorsement email that links to a web-based sales letter — plus every communication a potential endorser or affiliate would need to send business your way. Here’s the checklist of marketing materials you’ll need to give to referring parties:
- Email to broadcast to endorser’s list (includes a clickable link to a webpage with more information)
- Webpage copy that reads like a sales letter for your product or service (can also be converted to a mailed letter or telephone pitch)
- Instructional email so endorsers know exactly what to do to promote you
- Also useful is a script for convincing the endorser to send a specific offer to their list (can also be converted to an email appeal that can be broadcast to lots of potential endorsers at once)
The cost of producing a campaign like this (with me, anyway)? About $5,000.
Strategy #5: Run a preview seminar or in-store event that you publicize on a local radio station. For about half of your $5,000 budget, you can approach your local talk-radio station and offer to run a promotion — exclusively with them — where they become your event’s media sponsor. Agree to buy $2,500 worth of commercials if they will: (1) Feature you as a repeat guest on one prominent talk show with a local host (for three weeks prior to your event); (2) Give away free tickets on-air; and (3) Run additional free commercials during remnant time. The commercials should urge listeners to call your office or visit your website for free tickets. Spend the remaining $2,500 on renting a local meeting room and providing a free gift, signed book or workshop handout package to attendees. When my company used this strategy to fill an Instant Income event in Southern California, we packed the room with qualified prospective customers, plus I was on-air three different times as a guest on the top business show in that market. The radio station even arranged for a cover story about Instant Income in the local small-business magazine.
Using Economical Marketing to Make Money Is Easier Than You Think. In Fact, We Specialize in That.
While many people believe my firm does only percentage-of-profit joint ventures with our clients — or that we charge a fortune for our highly successful agency work — we’re still a service business, and enjoy working with new clients… especially where a little time and expertise on our part can add up to a big boost in revenues for our clients. If you have an interest in becoming a project-by-project client, give us a call at (805) 499-9400. Or if you want to speak to me personally about your idea or project, click here to get on my new-client exploratory schedule with spots open from now to August 3rd only to August 24th only.
Until next time, Janet Switzer