With the New Year freshly upon us, I wanted to share something special that I do each year around this time. It helps me put my business owner hat on and focus on the big picture.
I look forward to it every year and would NEVER miss it.
And I think will help you calibrate your business for growth in 2020.
Right after the holidays, the first week of January I get together with my 3 senior executives and do this…
I fly my top 3 executives to an amazing destination — we are in Napa, CA right now — and:
- We buy a bunch of delicious food from Whole Foods
- We hole up in a hotel or Airbnb
- And we tactically map out that year’s goals and targets for their respective divisions, together.
Of course, you don’t have to go out of town.
It’s a simple change of scenery that helps the most — a quick and easy way to set aside and de-program all the day-to-day minutia we encounter in the office.
While trying to remedy our holiday indulgences with salads, we review what happened the previous year:
- Which strategies produced leads and happy clients
- Which tactics need improvement (or ditching)
- Which targets do we actually want to hit — and how
Before you feel overwhelmed by this… please note:
I honestly consider this time my executives and I spend together at the beginning of each year CRITICAL to PostcardMania’s success…
And it’s worth saying —
2019 has been our best year yet.
I know taking a trip after the holidays seems far-fetched, and I’m NOT saying you should do that. (We didn’t start this tradition until 2007, 9 years after our start.)
I’m saying this:
Planning for success is precisely what creates success (as cliché as that sounds).
I do not expect you to reinvent the wheel and design some elaborate marketing strategy come January 1st…
Take a look at what you did do in 2019, and pour a little bit more coal on what actually produced results…
Take what worked, and maybe boost it a little — and make your business grow this year.
As an example:
If you added postcards to your marketing mix and saw an increase in your revenue, add more in 2020.
If hiring a dedicated customer service rep freed up more of your time so you could close more sales, see how to increase the volume even more where you require a second customer service rep – or a protégé you mold into another “you.”
Here are 11 ways to get more out of simple marketing strategies that may be old or new for you…
1. Amplify (or implement!) a tracking system to stop wasting money on ineffective marketing tactics
Tracking your marketing tells you which strategies worked so you know where to reinvest your marketing dollars — and where not to.
If you didn’t track your marketing at all in 2019, start by giving whoever answers your phones an easy New Caller Sheet.
A New Caller Sheet gives your receptionist (or whomever) a foolproof way to collect ALL the must-have information you need from prospective customers, such as:
- Their name
- Phone number
- Email address (so you can follow up with them later!)
- Information about how that patient heard about your business (SO important)
This is such an EASY tracking system to implement, and all you need to do is print off a stack of these sheets and train your receptionist to remember to use them.
Here’s another free tracking tactic…
2. Install Google Analytics on your website ASAP
Google Analytics reigns #1 in website tracking, and you can use it in many ways to inform how you should invest in your marketing plan.
You can create an account (it’s free!) and set it up on your website (or have your website guy do it for you).
Google Analytics allows you to automatically track a ton of metrics, such as:
- Who’s visiting your website
- Where they’re coming from (Facebook, Google, etc.)
- Which pages they land on
- Which pages people bounce off of
- And WAY more
If even just the words “Google Analytics” sound overwhelming to you…
Get your website person to throw the Google Analytics code on your website anyway, even if you’re not ready to use Google’s data right now for marketing intel.
In the future, you might find yourself ready to confront the Google Analytics machine, and by that time you’ll be happy to log in and see that there is already data there and waiting for you — instead of installing it at that time and then waiting for visitors.
3. Assign a unique call tracking number to every marketing action you do
Call tracking is a VERY affordable service that…
- Provides a different phone number that rings into your business like normal
- Logs how many times that phone number is used, by whom, and how long each call lasts (for easy tracking)
- And records the calls so you can replay them any time (for training purposes)
I cannot say enough about call tracking (we’ve been using it for years at PostcardMania), and again, it’s so affordable it’s almost crazy not to use it.
4. Mail postcards to generate a 1,809% return on investment (ROI)
If you sent direct mail in 2019, try sending more if your budget allows in 2020.
Remember to mail consistently if you want to see results. A single mailing probably won’t do much to move the needle.
5. Get a targeted mailing list FULL of your ideal prospects
The quality of your mailing list can make or break any direct mail marketing you do.
If you purchase an old mailing list filled with undeliverable addresses, your postcard campaign turns into wasted money — most of which is postage!
Purchase a mailing list filled with qualified prospects with at least 90% guaranteed deliverability, and your postcards will reach the people you want.
Most people who think direct mail doesn’t work either:
- Only mailed postcards once
- Mailed a bad or outdated mailing list
- Or mailed a confusing design that didn’t communicate effectively
Speaking of that last point, it brings me to #6:
6. Improve your postcard design with these 12 design elements
There is definitely a formula for lead-generating marketing design — specifically in direct mail.
You want to mail a piece that will make your recipients:
- Notice your message
- Take a second look
- Save the information
- Or just call right away.
For example, Dr. Seth Hall mailed this postcard, and he increased his average monthly new patients by 156%!
After 21 years of creating designs for over 89,000 clients across the nation, we’ve homed in on the 12 essential design elements your direct mail piece should have to produce response, meaning actual CALLS into your business…
Here they are:
7. Add Google ads to your direct mail campaign and increase response by 400%
Running Google ads alongside a postcard campaign exponentially increases the rate at which prospective customers see — and respond to — your marketing.
The key is the Google Ad Network (where Google ads show up and the largest online ad network in the world), and this includes the likes of:
- Best Buy
- And more.
There are potentially millions of websites where prospects could see your ads.
Here’s a free guide to learn how to run Google (called “pay-per-click”) ads.
Adding Google ads to your direct mail campaign is just one proven way to boost your response…
If you want to dominate your local market and all but guarantee new leads and a growing business, you should also do the digital strategy in #8 up next…
8. Add digital ads where 68% of adults spend time every day
Yes, I am talking about Facebook!
The social media giant that 68% of Americans use.
I recommend you use Facebook ads in your coordinated direct mail/Google ads strategy (#7).
This 3-pronged offline/online marketing approach puts your marketing essentially everywhere your prospects spend their time today:
- At home
- On the internet browsing websites
- And naturally, on Facebook (even my 80-year-old dad is on there).
Check out Everywhere Small Business if you want a done-for-you approach.
9. Check your website for these 9 lead-generating elements
How many times have you clicked away from a website because it didn’t load fast enough, or because it was ugly, or because you couldn’t find the information on it that you needed?
Probably more than you can count, right?
Your website is a TOOL, and it’s a MAJOR part of your overall marketing plan.
And your website’s success as a lead capture tool does not rely as much nitty-gritty design elements as much as it does on these 9 elements:
- Color that is industry-appropriate and POPS in the right places (near lead capture forms and contact information)
- Lead capture forms to make it 100% effortless for people reach you
- Consistent contact info in the same place on every page (upper right corner works!)
- REAL photos — not stock photos — of you, your business, and your staff
- An “About us” page with something about you, your business, and your staff
- Ratings and reviews with 5-star Amazon-esque graphics — not just testimonials
- Video content that makes it easy for visitors to see, listen and get to know (aka trust!) you
- Mobile-friendly design and setup so that your website looks professional regardless of the device on which visitors view it
Need help with your website?
10. Up your online review game with 5-star Google reviews
Reviews have become a must-have element in your marketing plan.
How often do you look up online reviews when searching for new restaurants?
Google reviews of new businesses?
If you’re like me, you outright rely on them.
So how do you rack up tons of raving 5-star reviews on Google (the #1 search engine on Earth) to create more trust in your business?
Here are 4 ways:
- Simply ASK — this can generate up to 70% more reviews
- Add reminders to your email signature
- Encourage staff to ask happy customers as they leave
You also need to respond positively to ALL negative reviews.
30% of consumers will pay attention to how you handle negative reviews while deciding if they’re going to do business with you or not.
11. Whatever marketing you can do — do it consistently all year long
It literally does not matter what marketing you do as long as:
- You’ve seen results from it (qualified leads that became new customers)
- You do it consistently
So, if buying a box of 500 doorhangers and having your son hang them up in qualified zip codes is what produced new leads in 2019…
Double it to 1,000 in 2020 and do it again.
If you mailed 2,000 postcards per month for 6 months in 2019, then try 5,000 postcards per month and add Google (and even Facebook) ads in 2020.
You get the idea…
Whatever stage your business is in, do a little more in 2020 to enhance what has proven to produce new-customer action in your business.
This process is EXACTLY what my senior executives do every year. We analyze and we plan.
And just this last year (2019) we reached our highest year ever.
And you can too! The items above will help.
If you need any help finding a marketing strategy for 2020 that will grow your business, do not hesitate to reach out to us.
My team and I have trained our marketing experts to help small business owners ONLY use marketing strategies flat-out proven to generate qualified leads…
A one-on-one consultation with them is 100% FREE by calling 800-628-1804.
I hope you’ve had a wonderful holiday season, and if there is anything we can do to assist your business’s goals in 2020, don’t hesitate to reach out!
You can always email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Happy New Year,