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How are you building your subscriber database?

Asked by:
Lisa Ormenyessy Business Coach and Marketing Specialist at Straight Talk Group
Jef LippiattCo-founder at Startup Chucktown
Lisa,What we are using for several different ventures is Mail Chimp. They have a free tier which makes it really cost effective for building an email list. They also have a widgets that you can add to a regular website or a Wordpress site with minimal effort.Another tool we have used is Google Forms. You can quickly create a form and post it your website or social media to gain feedback (and email addresses among other things). It has a few more steps than Mail Chimp but gives you more flexibility for capturing different types of information.I would also suggest using social media to connect with interest users or perspective clients. Connecting with them on social media isn't going to create a database of users for you, but it will give you a great idea into who some of your more engaged connections are and you can leverage them to help you spread your message.
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Customer acquisition

David & goliath – challeging the myth and the giants

~~I have just finished reading Malcolm Gladwell’s, “David & Goliath – Underdogs, Misfits and... read more

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Phil KhorFounder at SavvySME
Thanks John, this is very helpful.
John HoughOwner at Tender Consulting
Glad you liked it, Phil. Clearly, while there is considerable potential for SMEs to compete successfully in some tenders with larger companies, there can be real limitations, and these often include the firm’s actual or perceived capacity to reliably perform the contract (and to cope with any “… run over by a bus?” and other contingencies). If a firm is confident it has the required capacity, it would be sensible to seek to overcome or anticipate any doubts on the part of the purchaser by providing clear details of that capacity, in terms of available and reserve personnel; think about suitable subcontractors; and include a brief outline of contingency planning to address e.g. the “… run over by a bus?” thing and other contingencies. And if, after you have outlined this, it does not look completely convincing (“Yes, absolutely, we can do this hands-down”), forget everything I said in my article and don’t tender for that contract.
Customer acquisition

Timeless marketing strategies

It seems that entrepreneurs these days are overwhelmed with all the different marketing... read more

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Steven AbrahamOwner at Evolved Sound
The fundamentals of marketing really have stood the test of time. Here is another related article which we recently shared with our followers: http://smedio.com/5-marketing-principles-that-will-never-change/
Phil KhorFounder at SavvySME
Another great post Marika. The biggest takeaway for me is tip #4 be consistent. The 'feast and famine' approach is harmful but I think the only way to counter this is to be structured and plan marketing activities well ahead of time. This is a great time of the year to do so. Thanks for sharing.
Customer acquisition

5 ways businesses can stretch their marketing dollars this new year

For a lot of small businesses, the New Year can be a quiet period as customers and clients are... read more

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Wendy HuangFull Time Blogger and YouTuber at A Custom Blog in 4 Minutes
Great practical suggestions! Thanks Marika :D
Customer acquisition

The ultimate pricing strategy

What is your time worth? What is your expertise worth? Here is an even better question. What are... read more

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Neil - I would rather work less with great clients for the same amount of money that you would earn over a period of time. Makes financial and time sense to me.
Wendy - the great thing about working with higher payers is that they are more committed to your product or service and are less demanding. It has always been a pleasure for me to work with higher paying clients and with my previous business when I did take a few lower paying clients, it became unprofitable.
Customer acquisition

How to map out a marketing plan

Marketing plans are often long and complicated documents that get filed away and never looked at... read more

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Wendy HuangFull Time Blogger and YouTuber at A Custom Blog in 4 Minutes
Hi Marika, sound tips :D! Thanks for this! I'm ticking off this list with my marketing plan at this moment :)
Customer acquisition

9 Ways to Beat the Competition By Selling Less

Business & Small Business Log In | Join Log In | Join Log In Join...read more

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Customer acquisition

Why Everyone Should Buy From You Instead of the Competition

Branson Takeover Check It Out → For Labor Day weekend, we present...read more

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Customer acquisition

Customer Retention by the Numbers [INFOGRAPHIC]

About Social Media Today The world's best thinkers on energy & climate The...read more

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Customer acquisition

What It Takes to Be the Customer's First Choice

Branson Takeover Check It Out → For Labor Day weekend, we present...read more

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Customer acquisition

How to Stop Wasting Time With Tire Kickers and Qualify Prospects in 5 Easy Steps

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Customer acquisition

5 Secrets to Increasing Customer Retention -- and Profits

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Customer acquisition

3 tech Ideas to help you market your business

Marketing isn’t what it used to be. Today we have mobile apps and vending machines that use... read more

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Neil SteggallPartner at Wardour Capital Partners
Alicia, A good and relevant article, I enjoyed the tying together of smiles and technology. Two very important aspects of life but unfortunately the former is often overlooked and yet its so easy to give!
Questions

What modern marketing techniques do you use in today's competitive environment?

What modern marketing techniques are you employing to accelerate pipeline in today’s highly... read more

Asked by:
Cassidy Poon Head of Digital & Social Media at LogicalTech Group
Wendy HuangFull Time Blogger and YouTuber at A Custom Blog in 4 Minutes
I think because everyone and possibly their dog is capable of creating a professional looking website and list of products and services I look for: Continuous participation in the industry - through certifications and community involvement outside just the required. This may include continuous study of their key areas. One company that does this really well is Hubspot. This can also bring in lots of leads. Testimonials from people I know or reputable sources High participation on social media/blogging Portfolio and examples of case studies is the most key for me. A working online sales funnel where there is continuous qualifications and reminders sent through. The internet is not getting any easier :)
James NorquayOwner at Prosperity Media
Well I think todays market is look for the following: Results from past work - prove you can actually do the job via case studies. Transparency on all work completed - show the business you are willing to show all the work you are doing. Word of mouth - If you have highly connected customers who love the work your business does you do not need to advertise. Looking for ways to amplify your content market to get the work out - you can use many different social channels to maximise exposure on your marketing - Reddit Ads, Twitter Ads, Facebook sponsored stories ect ect Test Test TEST what works.    
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Questions

Has anyone tried a paid referral system for generating new customers?

Hi Savvys, I am looking at marketing avenues to increase my customer base. AdWords and the like... read more

Asked by:
Brian Le Mon Owner at GBOS
Hi Brian, Referral programs are OK, and in my experience rarely produce good quality leads unless the referral is fresh and followed up almost immediately. I have a referral program I offer to my clients which operated like this; 1. If they introduce me to a prospect I subsequently make a belly to belly pitch to I pay $50 regardless of the outcome 2. If the pitch is a success and they buy I pay an additional $150 The product I sell is a house device sold in the price range of $10,000 to $20,000 and I know I will close one in four of the the leads I sit so this is a cost of $87.50 per lead or $350 per closed deal or a maximum of 3.5% of the sale. I have also set up displays in a number of retail shops where they get the same deal - but in these cases the reward is in product to the owner of the shop who wants the device installed in their home. I also use proactive telemarketing. A bit more expensive but works awesomly well. I (and others I know) have had a lot of success with Ashleigh Hoult at 'The PromoDonna' - a small boutique telemarketing company focusing on providing a service for micro to small businesses who sell B2B (not B2C). She is based in Frankston   0419 590 752  and mention my name. No, I do not get a fee for this. You may recognise her name as she is a part time actor in Neighbours as well. Hope this helps. Greg Ferrett
Brian Le MonOwner at GBOS
Hi Guys,   Thanks for your comments. We decided to go with a referral bonus scheme to try to get more actual value out of our advertising dollar. It makes sense for me to try to expand my business case beyond my network and to do so more rapidly by using paid referrals. It will probably also help that we can offer a substantial referral bonus for successful referrals which hopefully will generate a bit of interest. Thanks again. Brian
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Questions

Do you use Linkedin to generate new business?

Always interested to hear peoples experiences of using the web to generate new leads and sales. I'm... read more

Asked by:
Michael Reid CA Do All The Things! at Michael L Reid CA
Sharon LatourQueen Bee/CMO at Marketing Bee
Hi Michael I can certainly confirm that LinkedIn is a platform you would want to use regularly. We have helped some of our clients increase their database, make connections, get resources and more through LinkedIn. It might take longer to convert those in leads but you need to focus greatly on your niche (depending on your target market and profession). We get 72% of our leads through networking and social media so it is definitely a huge channel for us. May I ask more details about your profession and requirements? Kind Regards Sharon Latour CMO Marketing Bee
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Questions

How do you generate more business for your web development agency?

How do you find more business for your web development agency? Is most of your business coming... read more

Asked by:
Michael Reid CA Do All The Things! at Michael L Reid CA
Have a great website yourselves with a solid portfolio.  Any portfolio link should open a new window so your site is still there when they stop browsing the portfolio. Don't try and be all things to all people.  Be sure what your target market is.  Information / lead generation sites versus e-commerce / transactional.  Experienced with web versus small business just starting out.  Push that strength on your website and in your portfolio. Have a page on 'what to look for in a web development agency?' or a checklist of steps in planning a website.  Pitch this to the level of expertise you expect in your target market.  Run in conjunction with a blog / newsletter that people sign up to. One newsletter I'm signed up to recently offered a 'free blog overhaul to increase conversions' for one lucky reader.  In exchange, they got: * I don't know how many enquiries from their readership who are now warm prospects with an identified need / desire. * an excellent case study for future newsletter and web post  (I think the conversion rate went up 300% or something) * an evangelist! Or free reviews to anyone for a limited time.  (or maybe at $10 since a nominal payment may reduce tire-kickers...)
Skeeve StevensChief Network Architect and Founder at eintellego Networks
All businesses are the same. We use the KPI model (www.keypersonofinfluence.com.au) - Pitch - How to tell people what you do - Publish - Get your material out there - Profile - If Google doesn't know you, you don't exist - Products - Define what you actually do - Partnerships - You can't do it all yourself   Every business needs these if they want to succeed.... as well as a lot more.... business doesn't just happen, you have to make it happen.... but the old days of marketing and sales are dying... and the new entrepreneur revolution is taking shape. ...Skeeve  
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Questions

What are the differences between the way men and women do business? Does it affect how we sell to them?

Asked by:
Gill Walker Owner at Opsis
Jenny SpringOwner at Spring Into Sales
There are significant differences in between the way a female customer and a male customer approach the product or service they will be purchasing. The woman will be highly observant of the sales person, whether they listen well, whether they really understand her needs. The female buyer will need to have many boxes crossed before she will proceed. She will be much harder to sell to, however, once she purchases, she will tell all of her network. So the rewards will be higher. The man is a little more straightforward, easier to sell to. As long as you address his needs fairly quickly, and he feels like he has a win in the deal, then he'll buy.  I know these are general statements, however I've been in corporate software sales for a long time (in the USA) and this was primarily a male-dominated industry. In the last 10 years I have owned my own import business. Primarily female customers.   I've found that we under-estimate how difficult women are to sell to. They really need to 'buy in' to the person making the sale, as well as the product/service being purchased. Men are less attached, and therefore will buy more rapidly.  
Henrik LarsenDirector at IePlus Pty Ltd
Fascinating views from both David and Steve.. Maybe some of the female members would share their perspective too?
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Customer acquisition

Keep your friends close and your enemies even closer

There are many interpretations to Sun Tzu's famous saying. To me, it's about knowing your enemies... read more

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Phil Joel Director at SavvySME
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Henrik LarsenDirector at IePlus Pty Ltd
Great post.. A lesson worth remembering.. In todays global online market Getting the real information about your competitors is not always easy when the only thing to go by may be the quality of a website.. Any suggestions / methods that anyone can recommend to get the most accurate competitor info when dealing in the "virtual World"?
Customer acquisition

5 Tips To Make Your Marketing Dollars Last Longer in 2013

The new year presents an opportunity for businesses to clarify their marketing strategy,... read more

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Ewan wattDirector at roi.com.au
nailing and defining point 1... really does make life easier for everyone..
Nice article Alicia Menkveld..I am interested in point 4, that is being strategic partner with your company..please let me know if you are interested. I would love to show you our work.