How to use publicity to increase sales

The first thing you probably thought I was going to say was creating a series of articles, or press releases, right? Wrong.

The most profitable way to increase sales is to develop an in-house publicity programemail marketing designed for your current clients/customers. Most publicity professionals will have these in-house programs for their pr clients. Sounds simple, but this is one of the most overlooked areas of publicity. Think about it. Just because you have a customer base, or just sold that new account, doesn’t mean they will continue buying your service or products. Many other competitors are constantly after your customers. The best way to retain and grow your sales is with your existing customers. This should be part of your company’s pr marketing strategy. Whether you are a local orange county publicity company, or a national hardware store, this is something all companies should practice.

Here are a few tips:

• Develop a follow up program. When a customer purchases a service or product, be sure to contact them within a week after the purchase to see if everything is ok. You may find that this can be very rewarding. You might find that the delivery was delayed, or the product was not working properly or had some problems when arrived. When you follow up the customer feels that they are important and will be confident in purchasing more from your company.

• Thank you note. Again, this is not brain surgery, but how often do you receive any thank you notes from a company that you made a purchase? If you did, you probably would consider them more often than their competitor. Thank you notes, or thank you emails are very powerful publicity  gestures.

• Send a gift that relates to their industry. Depending on the purchases, one example would be a book. There are dozens of books on all business situations. Consider something that deals with communication, leadership or customer service. Or a bio on a leader in their industry. Make sure you include a short note with the gift telling them “thank you” for purchasing your product/service.

• eNewsletters. I have written about this several times on how a company newsletter is a sure way to keep your name in front of existing customers. It is good practice to mention these good customers in your newsletter, but make sure they are willing to be recognized as doing business with your company. Some customers prefer to not have others know whom they do business with.

If you company needs an in-house publicity program, call George Carson at Carson Marketing, 949-477-9400. He will show you how to retain and increase sales with a publicity program.

How to increase business with a referral program

This publicity program should not be restricted to local areas, such as Orange County.

Sometimes pr clients, advertising agencies, and publicity firms are too busy developing campaigns to lure new customers than using the resources at hand. The best new business approach is to establish a strong referral program.

If you have a multi-million dollar advertising and pr budget, then this inexpensive program may not be of interest to you. On the other hand, if you are a wise, local Orange County Publicity agency, or a pr client, or a national company that seeks other methods of generating additional customers, then listen up.

referral program, increase businessFirst let me tell you that I am not the only person who uses referral programs, nor am I the only person who enjoys telling others how to create one. You will find many other business people and consultants who do this as well. One particular person who has broken down the referral program is Daryl Logullo. His concentrates on building strategies for business people needing to develop strong referral programs. Mr. Logullo created these three key concepts for redirecting any local orange county publicity company to a national software company’s marketing efforts.

1- Ensure that your existing clients understand the full scope of your services. If you company provides several different services, or products, but certain clients only know a handful of them, you need to let those pr clients experience the other services/products. To do this, you need to have the pr clients recognize that you can improve their lives/business when they understand all that you offer.

2- Discuss the subject of growth with your pr clients. Most of the time we tend to be shy about expressing to clients about our advancing. In reality, pr clients are like anyone else. They would appreciate knowing you are positive and optimistic about expanding your company. And more than often, they become thrilled to know you are sharing your growth plans and requesting their help.

3- Reward referral-generating behavior. When you acknowledge and reward a person for a referral, it is more appreciated. But beware to not only reward a pr client when the new lead becomes an active customer. It should be done even at the early stages of giving you a name to contact.

These are just a few tips to consider when implementing a referral program. Now you can see that referrals should not be restricted to local areas such as Orange County, or publicity in Orange County, but it can be in any market that you can provide the services to customers.

Marketing a Business with Publicity

Staying ahead of the competition

It is an on-going struggle to keep a business profitable. For that reason alone, you need to make sure you have a plan that includes all the marketing tools and publicity programs available. Whether you are a publicity agency, a pr client, or a marketing company, you need to implement some of these suggestions:

  • Keep in touch with clients. Sounds simple. How many times this year have you contacted a client just to see how things are? One suggestion is to draft a letter that can be sent to all customers. Ask if your company can be of further service, or if they have any questions about a recent order you sent to them. This can be generic, but the intro and the addressee should be personalized.
  • Flyers or Postcards. Another excellent way to stay in touch. Use flyers or postcards to let your prospects and existing clients know about any new products or services you are offering. Unlike a letter that is more formal, these get read faster and can generate more immediate responses.
  • Internet marketing. Use email to keep them informed. You can convert a postcard or create a flyer that can be sent as an email. Don’t forget about your web site. Make sure it is informative. What, you don’t have a site! And if you do, when was the last time it was updated? Keeping content fresh is important in today’s web marketing.

These are just a few ideas that should help you get back on track. Communication is important. This is another reason why a publicity campaign should be part of your overall media mix.

See Also

Keyword Prices

Up or Down?

A follow up to yesterday’s blog, I thought it would be of interest to know a little more about keyword prices.

An article in the Research Brief appeared today that listed the top browsers and top categories in the financial industry. It identifies the number of unique audience (visitors, users). This in turn is one of the sources that companies use to gauge the value of key words in an industry. Then the bidding begins.

In another article by the Research Brief dated Feb 2, 2006, it mentions that keyword bidding prices are on the decline.

Hold up, you need to really read the full article. Only segments within an industry might be less costly. They based this report on the fact that more keywords and phrases are being developed by companies and are used in the bidding process, which in turn means more specific choices for customers to type in the search engines.

In all, costs are not really going down, just more choices. More targeted words are being used.

An example shows that in the automotive market, from Oct 2005 to Dec 2005, the average keyword went from $1.30 to $1.52. In contrast, such as a saturated market like Mortgages-Finance went from $3.66 to $3.30 (in that same period).

This further reinforces my point from yesterday. Keywords are good sources to build traffic, but can you really afford it?

I guess it all depends on your outlook, your budget and how aggressive you want to be.

The best way to get positive results is with a mix of keywords (if you are a believer in this media) plus a solid publicity program and a good web marketing campaign. This will build the image and branding you need along with qualified results.

See Also