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Would you like customers to say positve things about yourbusiness to others?This articles reveals one way to retain and grow yourcustomer base.

Why Aren't You Using Freebies to Get More Customers?

Why ArenDon't you just love a freebie? I know I do.I've been in two situations recently as a customer, when I received an unexpected freebie. After ordering my usual bagel and coffee at the Bagel Bar,the girl behind counter offered me a free bottle of mineral water. I was about to ask for a glass of water anyway, so this came as a welcome surprise.A few days later found me buying a steak at the meat counter in my local supermarket. I was having a chat with the guy behind the counter about the fact that there didn't seem to be too much meat for so much money. He obviously took pity on my miserable face when he said - "Tell you what sir, why don't you have this other steak for the same price" and he slapped another one on top!So what's the customer service lesson here? The lesson is that most customers, love a freebie and if they receive one from a supplier it builds a positiverelationship.As customers, we're more likely to return and do business with people who give us freebies and we're more likely to tell other people about our positive experience.I once read a story article about a restaurant owner who would occasionally give people a free meal. When a group of diners or a family asked for the bill he would spontaneously announce that on this occasion they were his guests and they didn't have to pay for their meal.Can you imagine how these people felt - what they said to friends and work colleagues the next day? That free meal probably cost the restaurant owner a lot less that advertising in the local newspaper and it also brought in a lot more new customers.The Law of Reciprocity states that - "If you give someone something or do something for them - they will want to repay you - to give you something."Why don't you think of some little unexpected freebie you can offer your customers that'll encourage them to return and also tell others about their positive experience. And while we're at it - why not try the same thing withmembers of your staff. Even your personal relationships - a small unexpected gift or an act of kindness can do wonders for any relationship.Believe me, once you start to do this, you'll have many more satisfied customers, happy staff and appreciative friends.

The Disadvantage and Advantage Of Inkjet Printing

The Disadvantage and Advantage Of Inkjet Printing

Knowing that inkjet printing is a flexible, cost-effective, and dependable way to achieve high quality printed products. This inkjet printing has its own flaws. The disadvantages of inkjets include fragile print heads (that is prone to clogging or blockage) and expensive ink cartridges. These two main disadvantages of inkjet printing must be the reason why some of the consumers consider laser printers for medium to higher volume printer applications.And some of the consumers are making an alternate way in order they can save money this is by using compatible generic cartridges or re-filling kits, provided that they know the consequence that in using unofficial products their printers warranty may becomes void.Ink bleeding is another type of disadvantages factor of inkjet printing, where ink is carried sideways away from the desired location by the capillary effect; the result is a muddy appearance on some types of paper. Enough of these disadvantage part of inkjet printing, we look now to the brighter side. Compared to earlier consumer oriented printers, inkjets have a number of advantages. Some of these are:They are quieter in operation than impact dot matrix or daisywheel printers.They can print finer, smoother details through higher print head resolution, and many ink jets with photorealistic-quality color printing are widely available.In comparison to more expensive technologies like thermal wax, dye sublimations, and laser printers, ink jets have the advantage of practically no warm-up time and lower cost per page (except when compared to laser-printers).Inkjet printers are a type of computer printer that operates by propelling tiny droplets of liquid ink onto paper. They are the widespread type of computer printer for the general consumer due to their low cost, high quality of output, capability of printing in vivid color, and ease of use. In regards to the bleeding problem, nowadays, there are more inkjet printer maker also sell special treated paper intended to avoid the bleeding problem in printing, but this paper is expensive and sometimes has a peculiar texture. This is paper is perfect for inkjet printers.Because the ink used in most inkjet printer is a water-soluble, care must be taken with inkjet-printed documents to avoid even the smallest drop of water, which can cause severe blurring or running. Using highlighter markers is not recommended with such documents.

The A-Z Of Increasing Your Online Marketing ROI Part I

The A-Z Of Increasing Your Online Marketing ROI Part I

A - Affiliate MarketingMerchant products are promoted on 3rd party (affiliate) websites. When visitors click through from the affiliate site to the merchant site and make a purchase then an agreed fee is paid to the affiliate.If you advertise your products online, affiliate marketing is an efficient way to generate additional business. It is a cost effective form of advertising for merchants, and a simple way for affiliates to earn revenue from their website.B - Banner AdvertisingBanner advertising generally has a low response rate, often yielding about 2 visitors per thousand banner impressions. Despite the relatively poor value of banners for driving traffic, banner advertising can be particular useful in certain circumstances such as raising brand awareness.C - CategoriseStructuring your site well can be worth its weight in gold, not just to users of your site, but also to search engines. A well structured site in terms of infrastructure (i.e. directory structure, page naming convention) will not only tell your visitor what the page is about quickly, but also provide the "search engines" with an idea of what the page is about before it is indexed.D - DifferentiationA unique Marketing Campaign that allows a company and/or its products and services to stand out from its competitors. Having a niche product or service makes the job of marketing your product or service much easier. If your service is not unique, it is often possible to identify a unique selling point of your product or service.Focus on your unique selling points, those products or services that differentiate you from your competitors, and ensure you portray these to your potential customers.There are many aspects that can make you similar to your competitors, so ensure your unique selling point is clear to your customers. This can make a significant difference between success and failure.E E-Mail MarketingUsing e-mail as a means of communicating commercial messages to an audience (Direct Marketing) can be a profitable addition to your marketing strategy.This could take many forms: Targeting your existing client base with additional services or products. Targeting your existing client base with the purpose of enhancing the relationship of a client with its current or old customers and to encourage customer loyalty and repeat business. Targeting your existing client base with the purpose of selling 3rd party products for a fee. Purchasing a list of client email addresses for the purpose of marketing your products to a new client audience. Adding your advertisements to e-mails sent by other companies to their client base and marketing your products to a new audience.Direct marketing is popular with companies online as it is:LOW COST : Compared to direct mailing or printed newsletters the costs are negligible. The advertiser does not need to pay for production, paper, printing or postage.IMMEDIATE : It is instant, as opposed to a mailed advertisement, an e-mail arrives in a few seconds or minutes.TRACKABLE : It is easy to track. An advertiser can track hits, conversions and rise in sales. Real-time.FAR REACHING: Direct marketing can reach substantial numbers of e-mail subscribers who have opted-in (consented) to receive e-mail communications on subjects of interest to them.F FocusKeep it relevant!There is no point spending hundreds or thousands of pounds on advertising on your site, and then sending a potential customer to a non-related "landing page". There are two scenarios as regards online marketing where this is especially true, namely PPC advertising - Send your customers through to a targeted page. Many companies send clients through to the homepage, or worse, a non related page to what the term is. By sending potential customers through to a relevant page, you reduce the number of clicks required to find the product, at the same time reducing the number of exit points, which have the effect of making the money spent on sending the client to the site redundant. Affiliate Marketing - These days may clients are using companies such as Tradedoubler and Miva to drive traffic to their site. However, the number of times I have seen companies use the extra functionality such as product feeds that these Affiliate Marketing companies provide, and then under utilise them is staggering. By again targeting the users directly to the product/service they are searching for you are reducing the chances of the customer leaving the site before he/she has evenviewed your product.G - Gift VouchersGift vouchers can be a good way of influencing users to your site to buy a product/service. Not only can this be a good way of adding conversions, it can increase your customer loyalty as well.H - High earners vs Low returnersDifferentiating what products/services offer the highest return on investment is often one of the best ways of increasing your bottom line, and as a result your return on investment (ROI). This may sound like common sense, however many companies overlook this, and continue offering products or services that never make any positive ROI.The same applies to search engine marketing as a whole. For example, If you have a pay-per-click campaign, and are using very generic terms, you may find by tweaking the terms, and making these more specific, you decrease the amount you are spending on your PPC campaign, and increase your ROI as a result.I - InformativeHaving a site that is informative, interesting and unique is one of the best ways of keeping visitors coming back to your site, whether they be human or robots. Visitor loyalty is invaluable. This can be achieved via a number of ways whether it be a niche product, well written technical articles, your companies own PR or even just something that is just unique, funny or controversial.J - Just keep it simpleOver complicating the conversion process is often the biggest barrier to obtaining a successful sale. Many companies place barriers in the way, giving customers more reasons to pull out of a sale before completion, whether it is up-selling, over zealous data capture, or an inaccessible website.A recent clients buying process involved 10 clicks from site entry to sale completion. By reducing the number of clicks required to complete the sale from 10 to 6, sales increased by 400%. This involved streamlining the buying process, ensuring that the customer completed in as little time as possible.In the modern era, time is money. Therefore time can be expensive so keep the time required to make a purchase to a minimum.K - KeywordsResearch thoroughly the keywords that your website can realistically be ranked for. If you have a new website in a highly competitive market then ranking naturally for the major terms will be close to impossible, so consider less competitive and more targeted terms.Higher levels of visitors do not necessarily mean an increase in sales. A more focused set of keywords may mean lower traffic but the quality of the traffic can lead to a better ROI.L - Landing PagesThis is another asset of search engine marketers that is either over-optimised for search engines or under-utilised for visitors. Both can have a detrimental effect on sales conversions and ultimately your ROI.If you are using landing pages for any of your online advertising/marketing, it is highly advisable to keep these landing pages tailored to their requirement. You will find that by sending potential customers directly to the area/product they are looking for, you will significantly increase your sales as a result, and ultimately your ROI.M - Mod RewriteA Mod Rewrite engine is a piece of web server software used to modify URLs, for the purpose of making your dynamic URLs more user friendly to customers and search engines.A rewritten URL is easier to use if it is short but descriptive. The URL should have some text describing the content, but should not be too long.

The Eternal Principles for Creating Luxury Brands

The Eternal Principles for Creating Luxury Brands

By definition, a luxury brand is an outstanding brand, justifiably priced highly and destined, at least primarily, to a select group of the social-economic elite. Luxury is not about unattainability though. After all, you cannot profit from consumers that cannot buy your brand. However, luxury is about the consumer outstretching herself a bit to buy something extraordinary but rather expensive for her financial ability. When you are used to driving a BMW 760 (price tag: over 85,000 Euros), it is no longer a luxury for you, although you might be pleasantly aware that it is for many. Alternatively, paying 115,000 Euros for a Maserati Quattroporte Executive GT Automatic, will probably be more of luxury to you.Before entering a deeper discussion of luxury I think it will be good to acknowledge two basic facts:1. Luxury is relative. One man's luxury is often another's (usually richer) everyday lifestyle. 2. The standard of luxury is mutable. Today's luxury is often tomorrow's commonly expected standard. Luxury brands are under a constant pressure from non-luxury brands trying to offer a similar value for less, thus eroding the status of luxury.Much has been said lately about the changing nature of luxury these days. While some of the proclaimed changes are no more than the result of historical myopia, certain developments are worth noting.1. There are now more layers of luxury than ever before to match new levels of affluence. More billionaires, more multi-millionaires, more millionaires, more super affluents (annual income over $150K), affluents (annual income over $100K), and near affluents (annual income over $75K). A Toyota Camry (around $25K) is considered a luxury car at some level of affluence, at a higher level it's BMW 7 Series (around $115K), at yet a higher one it's Maybach 62 (around $375K). 2. Some of the luxury buyers are now somewhat less interested in purchasing uniform symbols of status / identity and they opt for developing an individual style and expressing themselves in original ways. The tension between the traditional (more safely genuine luxury) and the innovative has always burgeoned forth luxury. Currently, luxury leans more towards the innovative than the traditional.3. There are more "out of class" purchases now, both upwards and downwards. The wealthy feel no obligation to always buy expansive (actually, affluents typically look for the best deal on whatever they want to buy, no matter how extravagant). The no so wealthy have also developed an appetite for luxury when and where they can afford it. 4. There's a trend towards spending more on luxury experiences rather than goods, at least amongst wealthy Americans. This trend is stronger among seasoned affluents who already know that the attraction of objects wears out while cherished experiences just get better with time as they are remembered, told and re-told. 5. There are more luxury hits now and fewer classics. Luxury used to be defined in the tradition-driven past by classics. The novelty-driven present, that is evident in the non-luxury sectors as well, turns the success of luxury brands of the day into sweet but short-lived. The unchanging nature of luxuryDespite all these significant developments, the nature of luxury has remained unchanged in essence.People buy luxury brands in order to:1. Feel special and apart from the crowd. 2. Feel superior and privileged.3. Feel of value and importance.4. Exercise ability and freedom ("I can afford it", "I can do that").5. Reward themselves for efforts and achievements.6. Console one and recuperate from a setback or misfortune.7. Signal status and command acknowledgement and respect.8. Demonstrate refinement, connoisseurship and /or perfectionism.9. Delight the senses, experience pleasant sensations and feelings or create an infrastructure for future favorable experiences.10. Participate in a certain group and lifestyle.11. Signal affiliation and belonging.12. Remind oneself of one's "real" (or aspired) identity.13. Enflame hope and mobilize motivation and energy.14. Indulge and pamper oneself, take care of oneself.15. Feel loved, taken care of and even spoiled. 16. Show feelings of gratitude, admiration or great affection.Luxury brands are specifically designated to serve as means for consumers to fulfill one ore more of these tasks. Here are the ten eternal principles for developing and managing a luxury brand:1. A luxury brand is first and foremost a product and/or service of superior quality (a quality gap from competitors is recommended but not mandatory).2. The products and services are not designed and planned according to consumer tastes and expectations, even though they appeal and cater to sometimes-hidden deep-routed desires. A luxury brand sets its own standards and does not adhere to fashions. There is an air of leadership to it; it is exceptional, unique, original, artistic-creative, surprising, and novel (but never peculiar in a ridiculous or potentially repelling manner). 3. A luxury brand's most important value lies beyond the core product function or practicality.4. Luxury brands have something extravagant / excessive / redundant and overly generous about them. Something that is clearly not necessary: the use of unjustifiably expensive materials, performance that is far beyond all needs and requirements, an exaggerated level of service.5. A luxury brand always expresses zealousness for quality, highly held values or even an ideology, a distinctive culture, together with sense of hedonism, passion for life, and a free spirit. 6. A luxury brand will always be linked with the circle of those who "run the world" at that certain period of time and with the success symbols of the time.7. Behind a luxury brand there are often legends of eccentric genius creators, mysterious production processes, secret formulas, exceptional preparations etc'. 8. A luxury brand is never managed in a democratic way, but rather with authority or even with dictatorship, by a genius creator or by an inspired leader who demonstrates, inside and out, a strong passion for the product and pedantry for every small detail.9. A luxury brand must be rare or difficult to reach in some way. The awareness to the brand and the desire for it sometimes wide-ranged (while the numbers of buyers has to be limited) and other times restricted to a few that are in-the-know. Even the buyers themselves, must not be inclined / capable to purchase the luxury brand too often. 10. Luxury brand consumers expect to be distinguished from all others, and to be protected from them (the No-Mix principle). At the same time, they expect a special intimacy between them and the company and its managers, as well as flexibility regarding rules that are afflicted on others.

Guerrilla Marketing for the Small Marketing Budget

A smallish budget and a need to spend it wisely- a common cry from the small business. But small budget does not mean ineffective you just need to be specific, memorable, unusual and have a lot of energy.Be Specific. I think the most important thing to do is ensure that you are aiming at actual potential customers. If you are auto repair guys you have a head start as most people have cars nowadays so you would think it was easy. But, make sure that you are aiming at people who own the kind of cars that you repair be that make of car, age of car and/or income level. If you are selling items or services aimed at mums with small children then advertise there. Similarly if you are aiming for purchases from the affluent young or the baby boomers then advertise where they will see it.Be Memorable: Second consideration is what you want to market Have a service or product or make one up that you can explain in a few words. Try something like Bridal Makeup or First Car Service or Baby Blues Cure. Notice how the name explains it all. Try and offer something that will be appealing and that no one else is offering. It is far easier to sell a particular service on a small marketing budget than it is to sell all that you do! Identify your company with good branding one that sticks in the mind like The Spanner Man, Jimll Fix It, The service you can trust, Blushing Brides, The Lawn Man you get the idea.Be Energetic: Get printed some posters in 4 colors about the size of a paperback book is the most versatile size. Make sure they explain your offer and are easy to read, include graphics and not too many words. Dont forget your contact phone number, address, web site and company name.So we have your potential customers and what you want to sell to them now you need to market your company where these people are likely to be. Here are a few suggestions for you. Please always get permission to make your postings.?Car parks: Arrange to put up small posters on the payment machines, at the entry barriers or at the payment booth. Wherever the motorist pauses for a while.?Movies, restaurants etc: Particularly useful if you have a younger cliental. Place the posters on the notice boards, in the restrooms and wherever people wait for a while.?Your local take aways: Place them where people are waiting for their meals.?Clubs, pubs and sports areas: Place them where they can be seen as people meet or line up.?Complimentary services: Such as car sellers, hairdressers etc. anyone who offers a service that could lead to your companys services or profits. Offer commission to sellers who send you clients. Swap adverts with them or package your products together.?Source companies: These are people like lawyers, realtors, wedding planners, financial companies etc that do not offer all the services people require at that particular time e.g. we offer business planning services to people seeking USA visas or purchasing businesses. Our sources get to offer a full service, or a commission (where allowable) and we refer our people to them.Be Unusual: If your budget will stretch, some other guerrilla ideas are:?Place your advert on the lid of takeaway food.?Beer mats with your service bring it to you and get a discount.?Special offers sent to local businesses and their staff aimed specifically at their staff e.g. discounts for the Widget factory staff.?Interesting fridge magnets are always collectable.?People are always sticking things on their computer monitors or desks at work. I have a squeeze ball I regularly use.?A competition (legal of course) that your local paper will hopefully feature for you. It can be something like guess the washers in a can to win a free service. Anything that will bring people into your business where you can show yourselves off and provide sales material.Be imaginative!Tip: Send off details of your new service to the local press and local radio stations, in the form of a press release. Hopefully they will run this information to give you more free coverage.Lastly think a little out of the box, differentiate yourself and aim to introduce just one small element of your service the rest will follow.------------------------------------------------- Copyright 2006 Biz Guru LLCLee Lister, writes as The Biz Guru, for a number of web sites including her own sites www.BizGuru.us With over 20 years management and business consultancy experience with businesses large and small as well as being a serial entrepreneur, she now helps others set up, develop and market their businesses. Also visit www.clikks.com for all our informational products. You might like to join our Clikks Ezine: - aimed at the "small business" es click or brick with a web site presence. We provide business strategy and internet marketing assistance and products. clikks_ezine@aweber.com This article may be freely distributed if this resource box stays attached. -------------------------------------------------

Personalizing Autoresponders

Have you ever walked into a store in your town, and been addressed by name? This has probably happened to you at stores that you frequent often. The shop owner knows your name, and uses it. He remembers you, and he wants you to know that he cared enough about you and your business to remember you. In the offline world, this is just one aspect of customer support.Customer service like this is almost impossible to achieve on the Internet, but some semblance of it can exist when you personalize your autoresponder messages. Autoresponder messages can be set up to address people by their first or last name or both. In fact, there is quite a bit of personalized information that can be added, depending on the autoresponder that you are using.The information is included in the autoresponder messages by using codes. Each autoresponder will use different codes to insert the information in your messages. You simply write your message, and put the codes where you want the personalized information to appear. For instance, your message may start out with Hello (code for first name)! In this case, the persons first name will be inserted where that code is.Personalizing your autoresponder messages will most likely improve your response rate. Research has shown that emails that are personalized with the persons first name are opened more often, and those people are generally more receptive to the contents of the email message. It is usually very easy to do. You write one message, using the codes where you want the personalization, then, no matter who that one email is sent out to, their personal information will appear where the codes are.Of course, the autoresponder must collect the information first. This is done with the use of forms that activate the autoresponder. For instance, if you are giving away a free ebook, and you have your visitor fill out a form with their email address to receive the download instructions for the ebook by email, that form should collect any type of information that you want for personalization such as a first name, as well as the email address. If that information is not collected, the autoresponder wont have anything to insert where that code appears in your messages!Take a look around the control panel of your autoresponder, and find out what type of personalization you can add to your autoresponder messages. You may be very surprised at the improved results!

Summary

Would you like customers to say positve things about yourbusiness to others?This articles reveals one way to retain and grow yourcustomer base.