Inbound Effects: Small Business Marketers and the New Marketing Method
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You can use two types of marketing to convert people into customers: Inbound and outbound marketing. Outbound marketing, also known as push marketing, means that you present your product to potential consumers with cold calls, direct mail, television, radio and other forms of marketing that amount to begging someone to buy your products or services. It’s disruptive, annoying and quickly tuned out by overly exposed consumers. In contrast, inbound marketing is set up so that consumers come to your product on their own volition.
To be successful with inbound, you must incorporate pull tactics into your marketing strategy. That is, giving the consumer a reason to want to see what you have to offer, rather than beating them over the head with promotions and branding. Just publishing anything in your digital marketing pieces to anyone on your customer list won’t win you sales; it may actually cause people to unsubscribe to your emails and abandon your websites.
Creating an email marketing list
Though there are many newer ways to get your name onto the Internet, email marketing is still an effective way of targeting a specific audience. Instead of using a generic “sign up for our newsletter” link, break the newsletters and other content marketing lists into groups. If you sell a myriad of products, you may have articles about certain products on your web page. Somewhere on the article’s page, put a link for a potential customer to sign up for your newsletters or emails for specials. When the potential customer clicks through, present him with a list of newsletters. For example, you may offer informational newsletters on two or three subjects, a newsletter just for store-wide specials and a newsletter that pertains to specials and information on a specific service or product.
Once a customer makes a large purchase, send out an email survey, and make sure you include demographic questions. It can be a short survey to find out a person’s age group, location, how the person likes the service or product and whether they would buy again. Demographics are extremely helpful when you’re trying to match emails, newsletters, web content and blog posts to a person’s interest.
For example, if you sell someone an electric golf cart, but you also sell utility task vehicles, you may want to know a person’s age and where he or she lives. If that customer is over 60 and lives in the city, it would be a waste of time to and sell that customer a UTV. On the other hand, if the customer is 45 to 60 and lives on a large chunk of property or has trails and gravel roads in the area, that customer may be interested in eventually purchasing a UTV to help with travel.
Knowing your customers and their habits significantly increases your bottom line and return on investment. The United Kingdom’s DMA Email Marketing Council published a 2013 report that showed ROI figures of over 21 pounds return on investment for every pound spent in advertising. Set some time aside to look at your inbound marketing campaign to see how you can improve it, thus improving your bottom line.
About the Author:
Joseph Baker has worked in the business world for more than 10 years, specifically in management. He has led development and management teams, and implemented budget reductions both professionally and as an independent contractor. He is also an avid blogger and inbound marketer, with published topics ranging from social media trends to search media metrics and algorithmic trends.