Here are 5 essential marketing tips...
1. If you are currently running adverts of any sort of with which you cannot measure the response then STOP THEM NOW! The first rule of marketing is that you need to be able to test the response rate on every form of marketing that you use. If you run an advert and you get a 1% response rate then you can change the advert, run it again and see if the response rate improves. Eventually using this method, you will be able to at least double the response you are getting! All too many companies fall into the trap of running the same advertising and being too scared to stop it in case it affects sales.
2. You need to be using Google Adwords to attract prospective customers to your website. You might have already tried this and found that it cost too much money. If this is the case then you were not using it properly! In a nutshell, you need to be bidding on the less obvious keywords, having one advert per keyword, with the keyword in the advert title and running multiple adverts next to each other so that you can drop underperforming ads.
3. You need to be running multiple methods of marketing. Don't just use one method of marketing, use lots! There are loads to choose from.... Pay-Per-Click, Internet Advertising, Affiliates, Referrals, PR, Traditional Adverts, Telephone Marketing, Direct Mail... the list goes on. If you can run at least one campaign in each of these marketing types then you will substantially increase your profits!
4. Forget about trying to sell to your customers and try and build relationships instead! You need to do everything you can to make your customers refer to yourself as the prime source of information for your chosen field. If you can manage to do this then your customers will buy from you time and time again. You should have an email sign up on the front page of your website which compells the customer to register. For example if you sell bathrooms, you might have 'The top 10 mistakes people make when choosing a bathroom' When you get customers signing up to this, you can send them further information on bathrooms in general, and also details of the products you sell.
5. Most merchants believe that the way to increase profits is to increase the number of customers you have... This is only partially true. In fact, there are three ways to increase your profits. Firstly, as we have said, you can increase the number of customers you have. This is actually the most difficult and expensive of the three. Secondly you can increase your prices. The fact is that most merchants try and compete at the bottom end of the market. This is not ideally what you want to do. Try and position yourself at the middle to top of the market and re-inforce this with your quality, support etc. Many companies actually find sales increase as a result of this. Finally, you can try and sell your existing customers more things. This means you need to keep in regular communication with your customers. When was the last time you contacted your customer base? If it wasn't this week, then you are missing out on potential sales!