Does your small business marketing need a boost? With summer behind us and back-to-school energy in the air, now’s the time to start studying ways to improve your marketing plan for fall and beyond. Use this checklist to get your ideas going.
- If you sell online, make sure your ecommerce website is ready to handle the holiday rush. The percentage of sales made online has grown every holiday season, and this year will be no exception. Plan how you will “decorate” your site for the holidays, special online promotions you will use and what products you’ll feature when.
- Clean up your email lists. Sending emails to bad addresses, multiple emails to the same person or emails that end up in the junk folder is a waste of your time and annoys customers, too. Take some time to purge your email lists and get them shipshape for fall.
- Build your email lists. Once you’ve got the deadwood out of your email lists, start adding promising new prospects. Work every angle to get new customers to sign up, from signup sheets at the point-of-sale, prizes or drawings every week for signing up, or special offers in return for signing up. Don’t forget to make it super simple to sign up by putting a signup box prominently on the top of your website home page.
- Start moving. By this, we mean “get mobile.” Customers are browsing, shopping and opening emails on mobile devices, but many small businesses’ marketing isn’t keeping up. Do your emails open properly on mobile devices? Do links in the emails go to mobile-friendly pages? Are you maximizing the potential of local search with location-specific keywords and click-to-call buttons on your results page? Could text message marketing work for you?
- Don’t forget about current customers. Often, we get so busy chasing after new customers that we neglect the ones we have. They say 80 percent of your business will come from 20 percent of your customers, so identify the most profitable customers you have and reach out to sell them even more. Use social media as a marketing tool to stay in touch with them, find out what they want and need and build relationships so they’ll think of you first when it’s time to buy.
- Spiff up your SEO. SEO strategies change constantly—so fast that it can be hard for busy small business owners to keep pace. If you don’t have time to stay on top of SEO for your business website, outsourcing the task to the experts is a smart move that will quickly pay for itself. Whether you hire it out or do it yourself, be sure to use your website analytics to track whether your SEO changes are working.
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Maria Valdez Haubrich
Maria Valdez Haubrich is Chief Liaison Officer of GrowBiz Media, a media company that helps entrepreneurs start and grow their businesses. Visit her company’s blog at SmallBizDaily.com.