Monday, August 30, 2010

3 Fast Ways to Increase Revenues NOW (Method 3 of 3)

So far we’ve talked about holding an event and sending a special offer to existing contacts as two ways to quickly increase revenues. Today I’m going to share perhaps the fastest way I’ve seen to boost sales over my 20+ years of marketing.

Method #3: Create a Cross-Promotion

Cross-promotions are fast and effective because 1.) they make use of your greatest asset—your existing client base, and 2.) they leverage others’ client bases as well.

In its simplest form, a cross-promotion is simply a promotion in which two parties make offers to their audiences with a freebie attached from another party. A restaurant and a dry cleaner can run a cross-promotion. Each gives gift certificates to their clients for the other’s business. This works for service providers, retailers, internet-based businesses, wholesalers, and just about anyone else you can think of. A car wash can give a free oil change away with the purchase of a five-pass carwash book, while the oil change shop can give away gift certificates for a free upgrade to a super-wash at the car wash. The possibilities are endless.

Two important points to remember: 1.) Your cross-promo partners reflect on your company. Choose carefully! 2.) Gift certificates work much, much better than coupons. Don’t make the cross-promo a dollar-off deal, make it free or value-added offer.

Cross-promos can be created and launched in a matter of a few hours of work. They instantly tap others’ audiences for the benefit of your company. They make both (or all) partners in the cross-promotion look good because they add value all the way around and create client loyalty.

Get your team together. Identify five cross-promo opportunities your company has right now. Don’t have a team? Brain block on cross-promo opportunities? Need more direction? No problem! Ask your questions below and let's get your cross-promos going RIGHT NOW!

Here’s to your marketing success!

Bryan Waldon Pope

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

2 Mistakes That Killed the Punch in This Promotion

I just received an email from a vendor I've used a number of times in the past offering me "exclusive pricing" on some of their products. Interested in what I may have qualified for as a client, I read on. That's when I hit the first HUGE mistake made in this promotion.

As I would hope, there was a deadline on this "exclusive pricing" which, in theory, should make me feel some urgency to place an order. But immediately following the expiration date notice was a statement that indicated a new "exclusive pricing" offer would be sent to me when that one expired.


That took the urgency right out of the picture. Apparently I can order any time I want and get a deal. No rush, right?

Then the thought hit me: If this blatant a blunder was made in this promotion, is my "exclusive pricing" even really exclusive? So I went to the company's website. guessed it. My "exclusive pricing" is posted right on their website for anyone who happens by. And I thought I was special.

When we run promotions, we must be sincere. We need to create real urgency. We must make genuine deals to our audiences that really are whatever they are purported to be. Running a promotion right can bring a windfall of sales. Blunders like those I've shared from this company's train wreck of a promotion can cause permanent apathy--a marketers worst enemy.

Remember the boy who cried wolf? You don't want to be him. Especially when it comes to your marketing.

Here's to your marketing success!

Bryan Waldon Pope

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

3 Fast Ways to Increase Revenues NOW! (Method 2 of 3)

In my last installment on this topic, I discussed holding an open house, seminar, or other event as a fast way to increase revenues. Today’s method is even quicker.

Method #2: Send a Special Offer to Existing Contacts

Most businesses have contact records for past clients, current clients, and prospects. If you don’t, your assignment is to devise a way to begin capturing such data and never (never, never) let a client or prospect interact with you again without obtaining his or her contact information--at least in its simplest form.

On that note, I once served a retail store owner who was struggling and had not captured any data on the company’s customers. The first thing we did was create an offer to make to each person who entered the store in exchange for his or her information so special VIP client deals could be personally extended to them. Within a week or two, the idle store clerks were making calls to these people informing them of a special offer in a brief, 20- or 30-second phone call, allowing them to easily break from their calls when clients entered the store. Within a few months, sales were strong and the company was out of trouble.

The five most popular ways to extend special offers to contacts are:

:: in person
:: by phone
:: by direct mail
:: by email or text
:: through social media.

Email, text, and social media have become particularly strong contenders as vehicles for carrying special offer messages due to their low cost and convenience. While this isn’t a bad thing, remember that they are low-cost and convenient for everyone, making them heavily used and, in some cases, less effective than other methods. Being a high-touch contender in an electronic world may serve you well. Consider all your possibilities carefully before deciding how you will extend your special offers.

So what is your special offer for your prospects? What about existing clients? How will you extend your offer to them? Gather your team, decide on the strategy behind your offer, develop the campaign, determine the best vehicle for your message, and execute.

I’ve increased clients’ top-line revenues by 20%, 50%, even 100% in as little as one month using this one technique. How will you employ it? Don’t just think about it. Do it today!

Here’s to your marketing success!

Bryan Waldon Pope

Monday, August 16, 2010

3 Fast Ways to Increase Revenues NOW! (Method 1 of 3)

Most of the people who talk with me about marketing are looking for a quick fix. I hate the see this because consistently engaging in effective marketing practices can go a long way to removing the need for these emergency blitzes. I certainly understand, however, that sometimes a business just needs a shot in the arm to get over a hump. Over my next three installments, I’m going to share three ways virtually any business can create an income boost that can bring in new money in as little as one day, but absolutely within 30 days.

Method #1: Hold an Open House, Seminar, or Other Event

Regardless of the type of business you have, you either have a place of business people can come to, valuable knowledge you can share with your audience, or both. This means you are a candidate for holding an open house to allow prospects to get to know you better, a live or tele-seminar to share your knowledge, or some other similar type of event that gets you noticed.

:: Decide what type of event you are going to hold. It doesn’t have to be fancy or over-the-top. It just needs to meet your audience’s needs.

:: Involve the media and your contacts in getting the word out. Sit down and look at all the places and people who can help you publicize your event. You have at least a few, including the local paper, online community calendars, vendors, and clients; but chances are good you have many more than that. Get your team involved and think through all the possibilities.

:: When you have your plan in place, launch your publicity campaign two to four weeks in advance of the event, depending on the time commitment your event requires on the part of an attendee. A drop-open house only needs a couple weeks’ advance notice, while a full-day seminar calls for four weeks. Remember, though, that most of your attendees won’t RSVP (if that is required) until a few days before the event. That’s just human nature.

:: Keep it simple, especially if you’re new to such an event. Let your fears go, make your plan, and DO IT! You’ll be surprised at how effective events can be in raising your profile, improving client and customer loyalty, and improving your top-line revenues.

Watch for my next two installments. They offer even quicker ways to bring in new money NOW.

Here’s to your marketing success!

Bryan Waldon Pope
Marketing Success Institute