13 best marketing tips for small businessesJeffrey Dobkindirect marketing, small business marketing strategies, business communication
I've been involved in marketing and direct marketing since ...
my God! Am I that old already? Anyhow, over the years I've been
asked to give tips on marketing along with my specific advice.
Here's a short list of some of my best tips.
1. The most valuable tool in marketing at the lowest cost is a
letter. In fact, the most valuable tool in marketing at any cost is
a letter. Write one business-getting letter every day.
2. The best formula for creating headlines in marketing is "New
product offers benefit, benefit, benefit." Use this to create the
headline of your press releases and advertisements, for envelope
teaser copy, and for the beginning lead of your brochure. Example:
"New keyboard offers faster typing, greater accuracy, and is less
tiring." Use Jeff Dobkin's 100 to 1 Rule: Write 100 lines, go back
and pick your best 1.
3. The most valuable single sheet of paper you can create in
marketing is a press release. You should be sending press releases
4. The most effective trick I've learned in 25 years of
copywriting is this: when you are having a tough time writing, just
start writing anything, then go back and cross out your first
5. Follow up serious inquiries and sales leads with more than
one piece of mail.
6. The 11 most valuable words to get any press release published
are "Are you the person I should send this press release to?"
Before sending any important press release, call the magazine or
newspaper editor and say these 11 words.
7. Create a letter series--in advance--to get new business. Mail
one letter a month. This is the best campaign I can think of, and
the basis for one of my books, How To Market A Product For Under
$500! Shhh, don't tell anyone this, they won't buy it.
8. Always acknowledge when something nice is done for you with a
thank you letter. No, a call is not the same.
9. When you start to write any business communication, always
write your objective first. Figure out and state in writing what
you are trying to accomplish. For example, an ad objective may be
to generate maximum direct orders, or get as many leads as
possible, or generate retail store traffic. This gives your writing
10. If you'd really like a response from a personal letter,
include a return envelope in it with a live stamp on it. It'll
increase your response or it'll drive them nuts.
11. Anytime you run a successful long-term direct mail campaign,
test the variables in subsequent mailings.
12. Take your time writing. No one will ever know the one-page
letter they received took you three weeks to write. Just make sure
when you send it, it's perfect.
13. In a direct mail solicitation, don't be afraid to ask for
the order--several times. If the recipient doesn't call or send an
order, the piece fails. For best results, be very explicit and tell
the reader exactly what you want him to do--twice in the body copy,
and again in the PS.