Even though your marketing results also slow down during a recession, there are some things you can do to still grow during a recession.
- Work your list: past and present customers. Obtaining the customers that do business with you costs you in either time or money. Besides, it is far easier to make a repeat sale than it is to make a new one. Create an offer just for the customers on your list and email it to them. Include a call to action and a deadline.
- Remove any advertising that doesn’t work. Ads that don’t work are one of the surest ways that are eating your cash. Hire someone to help you create winning ads, or educate yourself on how to write better ads. You need to focus on understanding and profiling your ideal customer. If you know who they are, you can target them better, and know where to advertise to reach them. Then you need to test your ads.
- Follow up on your offer with a phone call and ask if the customer received your offer. Don’t put pressure on the prospect, but ask what offers the customer would be interested in receiving. Then offer something for free like a free report or advice. Try to keep in touch with customers by phone or email often. Another way to keep in touch are thank you letters or birthday cards. It is a great idea to have a follow-up system in an auto responder. This will not only save time, but will automate your marketing.
- Have an Upsell offer after each sale. Use McDonalds’ “do you want fries with that?” and apply it to your product or service. Think of product groups and make a special if they buy the group, or find a product that goes with the one they bought and offer it to them after the sale.
- Follow up offer: After your customers buy, send another offer within three weeks. You will have many buy again, and you will develop a relationship with those who don’t buy.
- Get testimonials: Your customers will appreciate what you’re doing for them and they will come to trust you. Get them to endorse your product or service to new customers. You can also endorse other products or services to them.
- Offer incentives: Add value by giving bonuses with your sale. This does not have to be physical products, but can be a free e-book or report. Or you can add a bit to your price and add some products you need to get rid of.
- Position yourself: People love to look up to leaders and to admire others. You know something that others don’t. Launch a blog on your website if you haven’t already. Also post your article to article directories so more people can find you. Make sure you know how you are different from your competitors, and write your blog entries accordingly. This way you will stand out and not look like a copycat.
- Look for businesses that are closing and buy their lists: many companies go out of business every day. By buying their lists you may add to your own.
- Lower your overheads: you can cut unneeded staff, sell excess inventory, outsource overload work, and see where else you can lower costs.
- Get response from ads: Make sure your advertisements get responses. You need to test the ads first. Flyers work best for this. Once you’ve tested it, and made sure it works, you can spend money on it.
- Diversify: Expand your product line or services. Look for new niches that you can cater to.
- Create a referral system: Make sure it benefits the referrers too so that you create a win-win situation.
- Hire a Marketing Expert: If marketing is not your strong point, you can hire a marketing expert to help you with this. Marketing is the single most important thing you can do to keep your business growing.
If you implement these tips, your business will not be one of those who fail during this long drawn-out recession but it will grow at a steady pace.