Posts by: Dave

Don't be afraid to use a little humor. Just do your research first.

“Two cannibals are sitting around a campfire eating a clown… one looks at the other and asks, does this taste funny to you?”

An oldie but goodie—and maybe even a bit inappropriate. But is it funny? Not to everyone, of course, and perhaps even offensive to some.

When is it okay to use humor in your sales and marketing efforts? What may be side-splitting to one, may be off-putting to another. So is it worth taking a risk?

If your answer is no, how then, do you plan on separating your business from the same-old tired “blah blah” sales letters that pile up in your inbox?

This article from MarketingProfs shows how to walk that fine line to make sure you show personality—and some humor—to engage the customer to the point he’s ready to buy.

It’s not always easy, but it’s possible if you keep your audience in mind. Ultimately, the writer really just needs to ask himself the question: “Does this copy taste funny to you?”

 

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In any business, at some point you have to cope with an unruly customer: One who constantly complains about your product or service; one who writes bad reviews about you on LinkedIn; one who yells at you and your staff—all under the mantra that they are the customer, and that they, of course, are always right.

But what if they’re wrong? Is it better to go on trying to make those customers happy when aparently nothing has worked up to now? Or is it better for the long-term success of your business to kiss ’em goodbye? Here’s a movie theater based in Austin, Texas, that does just that—and actually makes it known to their customers that they’re not going to put up with that s—. (Their words!) It’s a tactic that one company is taking, but is it right for your business?

What’s your opinion?

See also: Seth Godin: The unreasonable customer—when to tolerate unreasonable customers and when to fire them.

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If you ask small business owners today why they’re not using social media to promote their products and services, you’ll likely get a question instead of an answer. Among the more common are: “How do I know if it’s working?” and “Is it even worth the time and effort to post on Twitter or Facebook if I can’t see the ROI?”

Well, Susan Etlinger and the Altimeter Group have developed a useful framework that provides answers to these very questions. Etlinger identifies six ways to measure social media results:

Ultimately, the hope is that more small businesses will find ways to use these powerful media and see that the ROI is well worth the time. Check out the full report here—it’s definitely worth a read!

When’s the last time you wrote a love letter? Years ago to that college sweetheart traveling abroad? Weeks ago to your wife on her birthday? Or days ago, to that one prospect who you’ve been aching to land?

It may sound a bit off base, but your sales letter should be as thoughtful—though not as honey-dripped—as the love letters you’ve written at some point in your life. The tone, of course, should be as professional as possible, but the intent is clear—to get that same sought-after response from the prospect as your dearly intended.

This MarketingProfs article explains in more detail the five most important facets of the love—I mean sales—letter, emphasizing the two most important parts: make your headline as interesting as possible, personalize it, and use facts, figures and numbers. And be sure to include that ever-important P.S.—perhaps the most-read part of any letter, and the best place to sum up your most valuable points.

P.S. Make sure you show your intended the love by using perfect spelling and grammar!
P.P.S. Here you will find perhaps the most effective sales letter of all time.

In order to succeed in today’s business climate, your business’s marketing strategy has to be consistent, thorough, diverse and—wait for it—dynamic.

Most small businesses could use more dynamism in their promotional efforts. Sure, it can be a time-consuming and intimidating process to try new marketing channels like Foursquare, Yelp and Groupon, but the alternative—a stale, unchanging marketing program—is not a viable strategy for any business that’s looking to grow in a time of sagging consumer demand.

So, with this mind, here’s a list of three new ways to market your business.

Image of edible QR code from clevercupcakes’ Flickr photostream

Cold-calling is a numbers game, and generally one person out of a hundred will be interested in finding out if you can help their business. It’s a proven process, and it works—to land that initial meeting.

After that, it’s all up to you to establish a good rapport with your potential customers and ultimately secure the most important aspect of any meeting (other than the sale itself)—their trust. Once you gain their trust, a long-term relationship is possible, if not probable.

This article from MarketingProfs is a great example of using the three key factors in establishing rapport and gaining trust—research, language and imageryCheck it out.

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