By Marc Gordon
By Marc Gordon
Aug. 1, 2013 — With the popularity of social media, many business owners
have come to believe the ability to generate sales depends on their
tweets, Facebook posts and blog updates. However, most small businesses
will tell you that social media has not delivered the results they hoped
Before you create a new Pinterest account, maybe you should revisit these "old school" marketing tools.
- Trade shows. Depending on your industry, you could show your product or service directly to hundreds of potential customers in less than a day. Reach out to your list prior to the show letting them know you'll be there, then follow up after the show.
- The telephone. Forget cold calling. Just focus on current customers. Call those you have not heard from in a while and those who buy from you often. Tell them you're collecting feedback and making sure they're happy. Their responses will lead to better products, improved service and greater profits.
- Coupons. Yes, they work – if you make them attractive. Make an aggressive offer that will get noticed. Remember: the less your industry uses coupons, the more impact they will have.
- Direct mail. Google and McDonald's know it works! The best direct mail campaigns are focused on either a list or geographic area. Remember these key points: make it personal, make it attractive, make an offer.
- Referral programs. Word of mouth is incredibly powerful and shows just how much your customers value you. Be sure to show your appreciation. Depending on your industry, this could be a card, a gift, or even a commission.