Photo courtesy of Yogendra Joshi on Flickr

By Serhat Pala

This week’s marketing tips:

1-) Get help from your competitors to attract clients

This works well with service, software or B2B businesses and it’s simple.

  • Identify your top 3-4 competitors.
  • Search their names 2 or 3 at a time. You will likely find a few more of your competitors since you will find places your competitors are listed that will have more of them listed. (It’s always good to know more of your competitors, right?)
  • Then, check for current clients or customers they might have on their sites.
  • Use the search engine again and input those clients they have 2-3 at a time to see if you can identify any directory, membership list, or places that you can find new prospects.

You can also do this with your own clients. Search 2-3 of your clients together, if 2-3 good clients of yours are there, most likely the other listed businesses can become good clients, too. The reason you want to start looking from your competitors’ clients list is because it will bring up new places and new lists that you don’t currently work with.

Also, search what events/associations/tradeshows your competitors are going to and see if there are any membership directories or lists somewhere online to find new clients

2-) Smarter give away, or seasonal mailers, making the mailings work:

Give or send things that customers or prospects can use for longer periods of time, like New Year’s resolution sheets, a calendar of important events for the industry, important numbers and informational websites for your industry.

And, if you are sending out mailers, keep these tips in mind so your open rates are better:

  • Use a stamp instead of a postage meter.
  • Partner up with a complementary company to increase the value of the piece your are mailing.
  • Check something called MailLift. It is a handwritten service for bulk mailing for sales and marketing. (No, we are not associated with them.)
  • Make the mail lumpy. It might cost a little more but slightly lumpy mail gets opened almost twice as much as regular, flat mail. People are just curious to see what is in that envelope if they feel something is in there. Use your imagination to create the lumpiness.

3-) Office Olympics (kind of)

Do an office competition among employees to come up with a campaign/marketing idea. I know this is kind of cheating but there is nothing like a little friendly competition. The key here is not to give money for a prize (because your employees already work for money). Research consistently shows that giving a desirable prize works at least 3-4 times better than an equal amount of money as the prize. If you were planning to give $200 for the best idea, purchase something worth $200 instead for the prize.

Your employees know things you don’t, so asking them will not only make them feel more engaged and important, but it can also lead to a stellar idea that you would have never thought of.

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About Serhat Pala

Serhat Pala is the President and founder of RhinoForce and 3DPrinterStore.com. Prior to that, he ran several online retail businesses including TestCountry.com, which, under his management, was recognized as one of the Inc. 500 fastest growing privately held companies.

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