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Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Feeling the Marketing Squeeze?

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

As the economy takes time to recover, making the most of your marketing budget can prove a real challenge. Most of the marketing professionals I've been talking to have told me that they have less to work with this year than ever before. At the same time, they are under the microscope when it comes to justifying each dollar spent. Oh yeah, I forgot to mention ROI.

Now's a good time to consider FREE. Here's what I mean:

1. Giving information for free. One of the best campaigns I've run in the last year is a free download of samples. I realize this might not apply to everyone's business but the concept has merit. Imagine someone visits your website and sees a download for valuable information.

The user enters their name and email address and receives and email asking them to confirm their download. When they click on the link, the ebook or other informational product is instantly emailed to them.

While this is happening, you are starting an auto-responder that will drip messages (valuable content) to your subscribers on a daily basis - moving them through the purchase process. I have seen conversion rates as high as 5% on this type of promotion and it costs NOTHING!

2. Getting information for free. Now is a great time to poll your customers. What are they willing to spend money on now? Where do they find value? By collecting valuable information, you can address your marketing messages in the proper fashion. Additionally, you can shape your pricing and product offering in a way that increases sales.

Another way to leverage the power of free is to ask you customers for testimonials, content, and information that can help with your sales efforts. Solicit information from your customer base. This helps in the current climate and going forward.

Free is the most powerful word in marketing - make it work to your advantage. Consider offering value-added information in exchange for an indication of interest. Be sure to capture and email and set up and auto-responder. Move consumers through the purchase decision process. Also, ask your customers for feedback and content. This can help to better position your products and build powerful testimonials. Focus on free and generate revenue for little or no cost.


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